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GOP State Rep. Urges Gov. Rauner To Start Paying Overdue State Bills

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Brian Mackey/NPR Illinois
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Rep. David Harris, R-Arlington Heights, explained why he was voting to override Gov. Bruce Rauner's budget veto.

Part of the recently passed state budget calls for borrowing to pay down more than $14 billion in outstanding bills — saving the state millions in late payment penalties.

But Gov. Rauner has to start that process, and this week he cast doubt on whether he will.

“More borrowing, in and of itself, is not the answer," Rauner told reporters Monday.

Those overdue bills were a big factor in why many Republicans defied Rauner to help Democrats pass the budget.

Rep. David Harris, R-Arlington Heights, points to the $800 million in penalties accumulated by the state. 

“Those are taxpayers’ dollars that are not accruing any benefit to the people of the state of Illinois, just to pay interest," Harris said. 

“Unless there’s some alternative, then I strongly encourage the governor to take advantage of the borrowing authority that he has and lower those old bills and start eating away at these outrageous interest charges that we have built up," he said.

  • Note: This story was created for and posted originally at NPR Illinois