Lack of Budget Spikes State's Backlog of Unpaid Bills

Date: September 11, 2015

While the budget stalemate continues,Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger recently made headlines when she indicated
the state will see an increase in its backlog of unpaid bills by $2.5 billion
if something isn’t done. The current backlog is about $6 billion.

Ironically, even without a budget, 90
percent of the state’s bills are being paid due to court orders, consent
decrees and statutory continuing appropriations. The level at which they are
being funded is what is causing concern from Comptroller Munger.

Munger pointed out that spending is
occurring at Fiscal Year 2015 levels yet revenues are based on Fiscal Year
2016.  In other words, the state
continues to spend tax dollars as if the higher income tax was still in place. 

The income tax hike passed in 2011 by
Democrats under former Governor Pat Quinn expired in January of this year
leaving the state with about $4 billion less to spend in Fiscal Year 2016 which
started July 1. No budget means the
state is overspending and driving the state’s backlog of unpaid bills to a
whopping $8.5 billion by the end of the year.

Most experts believe if a budget isn’t
passed, the state will literally run out of money early next year.

Lawmakers have been coming to
Springfield  almost weekly and holding
hearings, mostly to deride the governor, but they currently aren’t scheduled to
be back until October.

Related Content: Small Business News | Economy | Illinois

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