The state’s debt situation is worsening. This is according to U.S. Rep. Randall M. Hultgren (R-Winfield, pictured), discussing a report assembled by the staff of U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.). “Unfunded liabilities have increased from $82.9 billion in Fiscal Year 2011 to a forecast of $89.8 billion in Fiscal Year 2012 – an increase of nearly $7 billion,” Hultgren said.
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The report was an update on a report Kirk issued in October 2011, quantifying state debt on a per capita basis. Kirk himself is still in rehabilitation from a stroke he suffered in January, and is not making any public appearances. The state still has a bill-paying backlog of $8.5 billion and an operating deficit of $508 million, and has suffered a credit downgrade. Hultgren, a former member of the General Assembly, urges state lawmakers and the governor to address the situation, though he said the state shouldn’t break its pension promise to state workers – he suggests leaner pension for new state workers – and he said he didn’t know enough about Medicaid to suggest where billions could be cut.