Illinois' vendor debt increases by $500 million
The State of Illinois' unpaid vendor debt jumped to $7,272,515,503.19 during the week ending May 16, an increase of roughly $500 million from the week before.
According to the state comptroller’s website, the state now counts nearly 98,000 bills among its unpaid voucher totals, including receipts for transfers to other state funds.
After an extended period of vendor debt trending downward, the last two weeks has seen debt spiral upward by nearly $1 billion. During the period of the drop, much of the falling debt can be traced to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s announcement late last year that he planned to issue $6 billion in general obligation bonds with all the proceeds earmarked for the state’s massive debt load.
The state’s unpaid debt load had tripled during a two-year period during which the state operated without a state budget in place, going from roughly $5 million to approximately $16 million.
Even with the downward trend, Illinois News Network recently reported taxpayers across the state remain on the hook for nearly $1 billion in interest alone stemming from late bill payments.
In an effort to keep taxpayers in the loop about the state’s massive debt load, comptroller Susana Mendoza recently initiated the Debt Transparent Act Report requiring state agencies to report monthly liabilities in a manner outlined by the comptroller’s office.