State's vendor debt holds at $8.16 billion
Illinois’ unpaid vendor debt stood at $8,161,943,233.88 for the week ending April 11, virtually unchanged from the previous week, according to the state comptroller’s website.
State Comptroller Susana Mendoza recently told the Dispatch-Argus she is convinced lawmakers need to be willing to put all their cards on the table in terms on transparency if the state is ever to have any real chance of digging its way back to solvency.
To that end, Mendoza recently introduced the Debt Transparency Act, which mandates that state agencies report all unpaid balances to the comptroller, including late payment interest.
Over a nearly two year period commencing in 2016, Illinois’ debt load more than tripled to approximately $16 billion as the state was forced to operate with no balanced budget in place.
Given such a massive debt load, Mendoza recently charged in a press release that taxpayers are still paying up to $2 million per day in late payment interest.
The state’s unpaid debt load has generally been trending downward ever since Gov. Bruce Rauner announced late last year that he planned to issue $6 billion of general obligation bonds with all the proceeds earmarked for the state’s massive debt load.
More recently, Rauner slammed what he called the state’s habit of "wasteful spending" as part of his campaign platform in a hard-fought Republican primary win over Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton).