SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WBBM) — The state of Illinois has a backlog of bills, and one lawmaker is outlining hopes of changing that.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Lisa Fielding reports, state Sen. John Sullivan (D-Quincy) says to his knowledge, Illinois has never owed as much money to doctors, hospitals, school districts, universities and businesses, as the state does now.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Lisa Fielding reports

“The state owes in the ballpark of about $4.5 billion,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan says he requested the numbers from state Comptroller’s office to get a handle on exactly what is owed and how much. He says he wasn’t surprised by the numbers, but he is concerned about how to fix it.

“What I’m trying to do is build a consensus; build some support; come up with a solution to try to pay our bills,” he said.

The state budget year ends July 1, but under current law, the state has until Sept. 1 to pay off any lingering bills that part of the previous budget.

Sullivan says the recently-enacted tax increase may help with the bills a bit, but it’s still not enough.

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