Comptroller: Bills Backlog Could Exceed $8B Without Budget

(AP) Comptroller Leslie Munger says Illinois’ unpaid bills backlog could potentially jump past $8 billion by next year without a state budget. Munger reiterated the consequences of having no spending plan to legislators and Gov. Bruce Rauner on Wednesday. Both sides remain at impasse for the July 1 fiscal year. Most of the state’s money is being spent through court orders, which Munger says continues at unsustainable rates. There’s also less revenue with a rolled back temporary income tax increase. Munger says the backlog is $5.5 billion and could outpace $8.5 billion by December’s end. In December 2014, it was roughly $6.6 billion. The backlog estimate presented by the comptroller’s office Wednesday did not include payments for higher education, employee-retiree health insurance, student MAP grants, some lottery winners, commercial spending, or other bills that aren’t being processed without a budget. According to Munger, those expenses could account for an additional $4.3 billion in spending.