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Rauner says borrowing isn't the answer to paying down bill backlog

Rauner says borrowing isn't the answer to paying down bill backlog

Comptroller Susana Mendoza would like Gov. Bruce Rauner, R-Illinois, to use his bonding authority to access up to $6 billion to help pay down the state's $14.35 billion backlog of past-due bills.

In a video released Monday, the Democratic comptroller said the state's bill backlog is costing taxpayers $2 million a day in late payment penalties.

Mendoza said the new borrowing will provide relief to people across Illinois.

"Beyond the taxpayer money saved, this plan would bring needed relief to thousands of our state's social service agencies, health providers and businesses, by allowing me to take a bigger bite out of the backlog of unpaid bills," Mendoza said in the video released on her YouTube account.

The governor's office said Medoza should first tap more than $600 million in various state accounts to pay down bills.

At an unrelated press conference Monday, Rauner said he'll also be working with the General Assembly on proposals with appropriations and reforms to pay down debt.

“That's the only answer for our indebtedness and going out and borrowing more is not going to help the problem," Rauner said.

Illinois' unprecedented two-year budget impasse ballooned the unpaid bill pile to a record $15.4 billion in June.

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