Backlog of Illinois' Unpaid Bills Could Get Worse

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SPRINGFIELD - Financial struggles are nothing new for Illinois.

If something isn't done soon at the Capitol, some lawmakers feel it will get worse.

"I think absent on the action on the part of the legislature and governor this spring, we should reasonably expect that number of backlogged bills to grow," said state senator Andy Manar.

Manar isn't alone in worrying about what future problems these unpaid bills may cause.

State comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger said that,"it's one of the leading reasons our credit rating is one of the worst in the country right now."

The current amount in unpaid bills is about $7B dollars.

Munger added that if the General Assembly doesn't act quickly the state will find itself in even worse shape.

"We're really feeling the pain of that tax increase going down.  It's adding $400M dollars of debt to that backlog every month.  We cannot tax our way out of this problem any more.  We are going to have to grow our economy and bring in additional revenue streams through growth," said Munger.

While senator Manar is concerned about the state's unpaid bills, he feels optimistic that lawmakers can come to an agreement on how to regain the state's credibility.

"Whether we move forward quickly or whether it takes all spring i think there's a belief among both democrats and republicans this spring that we have to tackle the issue.  Without a doubt, we have to take some steps in the next couple of months," said Manar.

Otherwise, revenues could get smaller, and the list of bills will get longer.

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