No state budget equals an ever-increasing stack of unpaid bills.
Comptroller Leslie Munger estimates the backlog will stand at $8.5 billion by the end of 2015, up from $6.6 billion from a year earlier, and that's assuming more payments aren't approved or forced to be made by court order without a budget being passed.
Despite warning the situation is becoming more dire, Munger maintains Gov. Bruce Rauner's so-called "turnaround agenda" should be included in the budget discussions.
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"There are going to be many things that it's going to take to get a balanced budget, but to simply take them off the table I think would be an error because we go down the same road we went down the last time and here's where we are today," Munger said.
Munger says the fact that around 90 percent of the budget is being funded through piecemeal appropriations and court orders isn't a positive, as the state is paying at levels comparable to the last fiscal year, when the income tax rate was still at 5 percent through December.
When specifically asked about enacting tax hike similar to the one which lapsed at the beginning of 2015, Munger says a tax increase alone wouldn't be able to balance the budget at this point in the current fiscal year.