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(Chicago Tribune) — The paper trail of Illinois’ budget crisis reaches hundreds of letters high, each pleading missive an example of a state too broke to pay its bills.

The disabled soon won’t have a place to live. The drug-addicted could be turned away for treatment. Prison inmates will run out of toilet paper.

The threats are found in so-called “hardship letters” that flood the Illinois comptroller’s office, sent in mostly by service providers begging the state to send whatever money it can spare to ease the crunch.

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