The bill backlog in Illinois is still a big one. The state is late on paying its bills by $4.27 billion, according to the latest quarterly report from Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka. That figure is only part of the story, though – it’s only the total actually presented to the comptroller's office and unpaid. A similar amount includes tax refunds, employee health insurance, and bills still in state agencies – bringing the total to around $8.5 billion.
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“The solution continues to be – and I really wish that the legislature and the governor would hear this and take it to heart – that is: you have to keep cutting spending,” Topinka says. “You have to let growth outpace spending. If you keep that budget flat, we can dig our way out of this.” The pile of unpaid bills has been $3 billion or more for more than a year.