CHICAGO (WBBM) — The state is more than $4.5 billion behind in payments to doctors, hospitals, school districts, universities and businesses, according to state Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka.

Topinka, the keeper of the state’s checkbook, says $2 billion has been due for more than three months, and $1 billion is still owed to local schools.

Newsradio 780’s Julie Mann reports, the numbers were provided at the request of state Democrats, who say they are trying to move the debate on the state budget forward and avoid lawsuit from people attempting to collect from the state.

According to State Senate President John Cullerton, the $4.5 billion reflects only the amount owed from the state’s main bank account.

Another backlog of at least $1.8 billion exists in paying state health insurance and corporate tax refunds. Combined, the backlog exceeds $6 billion.

Watch & Listen LIVE