SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) — Illinois keeps falling farther behind on its debt.
As WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports, officially, the state has a backlog of more than $4.25 billion in unpaid bills.READ MORE: Officer Struck By Car While Directing Traffic In South Loop, 2 In Custody
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports
But Illinois State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka says when one factors in other bills, the figure is closer to around $8.5 billion.READ MORE: 1 Wounded In Shooting On Interstate 57 Near Markham
Those other outstanding bills include tax refunds, employee health insurance, and bills that have not yet reached her desk.
Topinka says this is extremely disappointing, since a year ago, the state sharply increased income taxes (by 67 percent) and corporate taxes.
“After the largest tax hike in our history, the state continues to be in this precarious fiscal position with persistent payment delays, and frankly, the situation is unlikely to significantly improve in the near term,” she said.MORE NEWS: Watchdog Report Says CPD Has Taken Few Steps To Fix Problems With Records Management In Court Cases
Some state officials say the solution is more borrowing to pay the bills, but Topinka says the solution is to cut spending.