Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has finally taken a position in support of the controversial Trump-Republican tax reform plan, which the nonpartisan, congressional Joint Committee on Taxation found would add $1 trillion to budget deficits.
On a radio show this week, Rauner said of the bill, “I’m applaudin’ Congress, I hope they come through, we’ll see, it’s a tough battle.”
During Illinois’ more than two-year budget impasse, the amount in unpaid bills more than tripled, reaching over $16 billion.
In 2015, when Governor Rauner first took office, the state’s unpaid bill backlog was $6 billion.
“The sobering note is really the amount of unpaid bills that the state is waking up with,” said Laurence Msall, president of the Civic Federation, a nonpartisan fiscal think tank.
In early July, a bipartisan group of legislators overrode Governor Bruce Rauner’s veto of the budget compromise, pointing to the toll the crisis took on the state’s finances, social services providers, and educational institutions.
The office responsible for paying Illinois’ bills, the Comptroller Susana Mendoza’s office, said it doesn’t know how long it will take to pay back everything that the state owes.
The state is also required to pay interest payments on its debt, which the Comptroller estimates will total $700 million.
Treasurer Michael Frerichs has also warned that the state has forfeited millions of dollars in investment income because of the budget impasse.