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Fri December 5, 2008
Illinois to Borrow $1.4 Billion to Pay Bills
By Carrie Pond
Illinois to Borrow $1.4 Billion to Pay Bills – Illinois wants to borrow up to 1 point 4 billion dollars from the federal government to help pay unpaid bills. That request is in addition to the more than 3-point-8 billion dollars federal government has promised to help pay for Medicaid patients over the next 5 years. The short-term borrowing means businesses that have been waiting months for payment should at least get some of their money soon. But the state is just exchanging one kind of debt for another. It will have to pay off the 1 point 4 billion dollar loan by the end of the fiscal year next June. Comptroller Daniel Hynes says the state's backlog of overdue bills has reached a record high of nearly 4 billion dollars. Much of that is owed to agencies that care for Medicaid clients.