Comptroller: Illinois state debt to exceed $8 billion

April 27, 2011 3:04:37 PM PDT
The state comptroller says Illinois is heading for an $8 billion budget shortfall.

Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka says the deficit won't be reduced unless the governor and lawmakers take steps to cut spending before the fiscal year ends on June 30.

Most of that deficit comes from overdue bills. Topinka said Wednesday that Illinois owes $4.5 billion to businesses and community organizations that have done work for the state.

It also owes $1.2 billion to employee health insurance, $850 million for overdue tax refunds and about $1 billion in bills that will arrive after the end of the budget year.