CHICAGO, July 14 Illinois ended fiscal 2014 with
unpaid bills totaling $3.9 billion, the smallest amount in five
years, Governor Pat Quinn announced on Monday.
The bill pile as of June 30 was over 23 percent lower than
the $5 billion of outstanding bills at the end of fiscal year
The state's chronic bill backlog, which reached a high of
$9.9 billion in 2010, has been a contributing factor to
downgrades of Illinois' credit ratings, along with the state's
$100 billion unfunded public pension liability.
Illinois has the lowest credit ratings among U.S. states.
Quinn's office said the lower bill backlog resulted from
reforms to Medicaid, worker's compensation and unemployment
insurance as well as other cost-saving measures.
The Democratic governor's bill tally was lower than that of
Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, a Republican, whose
office estimated the total at $4.4 billion.
"The difference is in that the governor's office doesn't
count medical bills until they're past due, while the
comptroller counts them as soon as they're billed to the state,"
said Topinka spokesman Brad Hahn.
(Reporting by Karen Pierog, editing by G Crosse)