Rauner authorizes $6B in borrowing to pay down state debt - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

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Rauner: State to borrow $6B to begin paying down bill backlog

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (HOI) -- -

Gov. Bruce Rauner is issuing $6 billion in bonds to pay down a portion of the state's more than $15 billion stack of unpaid bills. 

“Illinois has been deficit spending for many years, resulting in a huge unpaid bill backlog. The state has been, in effect, borrowing from local service providers, including nonprofits and small businesses, because it takes months for them to get paid,” Rauner said. “My preferred solution has always been for state government to reform its spending, and for a strong, competitive economy to grow family incomes faster than the cost of government."

Rauner said borrowing was not his first option, but said it was "better to have Wall Street carry our debt than Main Street Illinois." 

The state is currently paying off high interest penalties on late bills. Rauner said his office is also working to identify several hundred million dollars in possible spending reductions.

"This is a good day for taxpayers. We are pleased to see Governor Rauner has listened to the many voices of Illinois residents and businesses urging him to issue bonds as the General Assembly authorized. This news will come as a relief to businesses around Illinois owed money by the state," said Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza, who pays off the state's bills. 

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