State's vendor debt drops below $7.4 billion
Illinois’ unpaid vendor debt dipped to $7,354,609,302.74 during the week ending April 24, a drop of nearly $1.5 billion from last week’s debt load of almost $8.9 million.
The sharp drop marked the third week over the last month where debt load owed by the state has either fallen or went virtually unchanged.
In recent times, the state’s unpaid debt 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.
Still, Illinois News Network recently reported taxpayers are now on the hook for nearly $1 billion in interest alone stemming from late bill payments.
State Comptroller Susana Mendoza’s office, in its Debt Transparency Act report, recently indicated in 2017 alone, the state shelled out $143 million in late interest penalties and as of the end of March this year there was $553 million in late payment interest penalty vouchers pending with the comptroller’s office, an increase of $15 million from the month before.
During a two year period where the state operated without a balanced budget in place, the state’s debt tripled to record-highs topping $16 billion.