SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration is calling thousands of vendors to seek support for the state borrowing billions of dollars to pay overdue bills.

Illinois owes about $6 billion to businesses and charities that provide service on behalf of state government. Additional debts bring the total backlog to $8.75 billion.

Quinn spokeswoman Brie Callahan says state agencies are asking vendors to urge lawmakers to support borrowing money to pay the backlog immediately. The loan would be paid back over 14 years with a portion of the newly approved income tax increase.

Quinn signed an e-mail which he called “a call to action.” Callahan says state employees are also contacting groups such as the Chamber of Commerce and social service agencies.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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