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Illinois faces a $15 billion backlog in unpaid bills

Post BY: The News-Gazette

Gov. Bruce Rauner announced that he's decided to "exercise borrowing authority to issue $6 billion in bonds to pay down a portion of the state's bill backlog." Yes, that's right. After abandoning the idea of spending their way out of debt, the state's leaders have embraced a new plan — borrowing their way out of debt.

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Volcker Alliance Launches Analysis of 50 State Budgets

In 2015, Illinois brought in $71B revenue, spent $75B on expenses, and carried $141B in total debt. The interest on this debt cost taxpayers nearly $5B, which was more than the state's contribution to TRS, $4B.

Last year, 2016, Total Revenue was $68B, Total Expenses were $73B, and the state increased its debt to $147B Total Debt. Revenue decreased by $3B due to the state reducing its flat individual and corporate income tax rates. Expenses were down $2B, but there was still a $5B shortfall because of the decrease in revenue.

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To Pass Budget, Accept Reality


Both state Sen. Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) and state Rep. Scott Drury (D-Highwood) laid out the background of how the state has failed to pass a budget due June 30 as required by the constitution.

Morrison said a major part of the problem was too little revenue after the state income tax rate reverted from 5.25 percent to 3.75 percent in early 2015. She said it created an unbalanced budget.

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