Illinois’ unpaid vendor debt climbed higher for the second straight week after an eight-week trend of gradual deductions.
According to the Illinois comptroller’s website, debt stood at $8,912,705,946.06 during the week ending Feb. 14, up from $8,690,348,325.49 the week before.
The growing debt load still pales to where the state found itself for much of 2017, when debt at one point swelled to record highs of more than $16 billion. The downward trend kicked in just before the new year, when Gov. Bruce Rauner moved to issue $6 billion worth of general obligation bonds, all of which was applied to the state’s runaway deficits.
Much of the record debt can be traced to a two-year period when the state operated without having a balanced budget in place and debt more than tripled from slightly more than $5 billion.
In her first monthly debt transparency report released in January, Comptroller Susana Mendoza said the state was hit with more than $1.03 billion in late payments during 2017. The debt transparency act went into effect on Jan. 1 and is aimed at keeping state legislators and Illinois residents abreast of the state’s financial standing.
More recently, Rauner kicked off negotiations for the next fiscal budget and is already calling for an end to what he has deemed as “wasteful spending.”