Illinois Headed for $8 Billion Shortfall, Comptroller Says

April 28, 2011  |  

(Wall Street Journal) — Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka warned Wednesday that the state is on track to end its fiscal year June 30 with $8.3 billion in unpaid obligations.  “You can’t kick this can down the road anymore,” Ms. Topinka said in an interview, adding that both Democrats and Republicans are to blame for ignoring the state’s fiscal problems for years.  Illinois has 208,635 overdue bills—totaling $4.52 billion—owed to schools, hospitals, social-service agencies and businesses, for services they’ve already provided, said Ms. Topinka, a Republican.  In addition, the state has $3.8 billion in other obligations coming due, including another $1 billion in current-year bills expected to arrive after June 30. State agencies are expected to submit bills for $1.2 billion in employee health-insurance costs, she said. Illinois also will owe $850 million for corporate tax refunds and $750 million for debt payments.

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