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Rep. Hultgren: Illinois Economy Just Keeps Getting Worse

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Rep. Randy Hultgren

U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.) (Credit: Rep. Hultgren)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.) is updating the gloomy fiscal picture of Illinois’ finances painted last fall by now-ailing U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.)

As WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports, last October, Kirk issued a dour report on the state’s debt. But Kirk has had a stroke since then, and it fell to a fellow Republican, Hultgren, to issue a report on progress – or the lack thereof.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports

“With the failure to undertake fiscal reforms during the state’s veto session last fall, the fiscal picture described in Senator Kirk’s report just six months ago also has worsened,” Kirk said. “Moody’s has downgraded Illinois’ debt from A1 to A2 – the lowest rating in the nation.”

Kirk’s October report already said the state government was teetering on the edge of insolvency.

The report shows the state’s debt is so massive that it’s the equivalent of $78,000 per household.

The author of Kirk’s report – venture capitalist Henry Feinberg – said those debt levels are unsustainable. He says that, if Illinois were a privately-owned business, its auditors would declare it insolvent.

Hultgren also discussed the progress of Kirk’s recovery Wednesday.

“Everything I hear is very good. It’s going to be a long process. But I know he is a fighter. We need him back as quickly as possible, but we also need him to do everything he needs to do to get back to full health,” Hultgren said.

Hultgren did suggest that Kirk was in better health than the Illinois economy.

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