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Topinka: State Can’t Keep Borrowing

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Judy Baar Topinka (Photo From Judy Baar Topinka Website)

Judy Baar Topinka (Photo From Judy Baar Topinka Website)

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) – Critics say the State of Illinois is robbing Peter to pay Paul in its plans to borrow money to balance the state budget, and now, Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka is calling for major changes.

Topinka warns the state will end the fiscal year $8.3 billion in the red unless it stops spending more than it’s taking in, according to multiple published reports.

Topinka points out that the state is paying back bills that date from Nov. 5, 2010, and says the state absolutely must cut spending, the Quincy Herald-Whig reported.

Gov. Pat Quinn wants to borrow more to meet the state’s obligations, but lawmakers are reluctant.

Earlier this week, House Revenue and Finance Committee Chairman Rep. John Bradley (D-Marion) said the state should hold the line and not spend more than is available, and “try to pace out some of the bills; get workers’ compensation settled, get these (tax increment financing districts) and enterprise zones figured out, do some other things that are very important to the State of Illinois.”

The deadline for the budget is at the end of May.

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