Illinois' Strategy for Digging Out of Debt: Taking on More

Jul 13, 2017

Illinois lawmakers have an ironic strategy for digging out of debt: taking on more of it.

The state recently adopted its first budget in two years. Spending in the meantime has left a $15 billion pile of overdue bills and the nation's lowest credit rating.

One solution in the budget approved over Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's vetoes is borrowing $6 billion more. 

Chicago Democratic Sen. Donne Trotter says late-payment interest obligation on $15 billion owed to vendors is far more expensive than interest on selling bonds. 

Alan Schankel is a municipal bond strategist for Janney Capital Markets. He says Illinois must take quick action and there's a market demand for riskier investments.

Rauner's office won't say whether he'll issue the bonds.