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Rauner Announces Borrowing Plan To Pay Down Bill Backlog

Brian Mackey/NPR Illinois

Illinois could soon begin to tackle its massive pile of unpaid bills, thanks to a move Thursday by Governor Bruce Rauner.

Rauner is moving ahead with a bond issue — borrowing about $6 billion dollars — to pay off various state vendors immediately. The move should save Illinois hundreds of millions of dollars a year in late penalties.

Rauner says he’s going to look for other ways to cut spending in order to pay off the bonds. Democrats, like Rep. Greg Harris from Chicago, say they worry Rauner will target human service providers like he did during the budget stalemate.

“All his traditional targets — the epilepsy foundation, autism, teen reach, after-school programming, violence prevention — have not gotten contracts yet,” Harris said.

Rauner says he wants legislators back in Springfield this fall to work more on the budget and his economic agenda.