(Reuters) – Illinois’ pile of unpaid bills, a barometer of the state’s deep financial problems, hit an all-time high of $12.8 billion, the state comptroller announced on Friday.
The nation’s fifth-largest state is limping through a record-setting second-straight fiscal year without a complete budget due to an ongoing impasse between its Republican governor and Democrats who control the legislature.
With the bill backlog representing $1,000 for every state resident, Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza called on Governor Bruce Rauner and legislators to pass a budget.
“Illinois is in the midst of a historic financial meltdown,” Mendoza, a Democrat, said in a statement. “Our social service agencies, schools and seniors have suffered during the 21 months we’ve waited for executive action on an actual budget.”
Despite Illinois’ inability to enact a spending plan, the state is operating on continuing appropriations to cover big-ticket items like payments for pensions and bonds, and court-ordered spending for payroll and an array of health and human services.