Governor, Legislature In a Dispute Over State's Bill Backlog

Sep 5, 2017

It’s been two months since Illinois government finally passed a full budget. Legislators hoped that would accelerate the payment of overdue bills. But the governor’s office is holding that up.

The math seems pretty simple: Illinois is paying interest penalties of 12 percent on some debt. But like refinancing a home mortgage, we could borrow to pay that off at closer to 4 percent.

Gov. Bruce Rauner, however, doesn’t seem to like that idea.

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

So far the governor isn’t offering any ideas for such a plan. And that has legislators wondering:

“What do we have to do?”

Sen. Donne Trotter is a Democrat from Chicago.

“Where must we start to deal (with) and address (the) situation that remains here in the state of Illinois?”

Trotter says waiting to issue bonds is costing taxpayers an extra $2 million dollars a day.