Kirk warns of financial risks of Illinois debt

October 12, 2011 10:00:29 AM PDT
U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk warns Illinois must reform pensions and adopt other changes because excessive debt puts the state in a dire financial situation.

The first-term republican issued a report on Illinois debt saying the state should not expect a federal bailout.

The report finds Illinois can cover only 60 percent of its health and pension obligations, the lowest percentage in the country.

According to Kirk's report, the Illinois credit rating is the worst in the nation.

The combined debt load for state, city, and county governments is $78,000 for each household in Chicago.

"You owe twice as much as citizens in Wisconsin, Missouri, or Indiana to your state government, that we have debt levels equivalent of those for Greek citizens," said Kirk.

The report also reveals Illinois pays annual interest of almost $3 billion for money it has borrowed.

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