Helen Cheng’s business, River City Office Supply, has been providing printer paper and office chairs to the capitol for 27 years. The state is her biggest customer, but business is so slow that her her seven employees have nothing more to do than clean the company warehouse.
“How much can you clean right? You can only clean so much.”
That’s because Controller Chiang can’t pay businesses that contract with the state until a new budget is in place.
“We do this too often.”
In the last 20 years, the budget has been in place on time for the controller to meet the state’s obligations only five times.
“Programs to the state are going to be hurt again.”
Chiang estimates there’s more than one billion dollars worth of bills he can’t pay this month. The money would pay for college loans, some social services, and legislative wages. Chiang says he might have to start giving out IOU’s as soon as next month.