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Illinois Is Making Little Progress On Overdue Bills

Flickr User Ken Teegardin/Flickr CC by SA 2.0

Illinois government has made little progress in paying off overdue bills.

The state owes more than $15 billion, even after two months with a full budget. That’s in part because Gov. Bruce Rauner has so far refused to refinance the debt. Democratic Sen. Donne Trotter is asking Rauner to get going.

“We remain in a political and fiscal crisis … because of the inaction of a reticent governor, who continually remains silent, primarily through his abrogation of duty on the budget," Trotter said.

Illinois is paying interest penalties of up to 12 percent on some of its overdue bills. It’s thought the state could issue bonds at closer to 4 percent — saving hundreds of millions of dollars. Rauner has said it’s not a good idea to borrow money without a plan to repay it.

“Just more borrowing — in and of itself, without a plan for repayment — would be a huge mistake," Rauner said. 

But the governor has not offered any such plan himself.