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Is the Bill Backlog Shrinking?

Is the Bill Backlog Shrinking?

Days ahead of Gov. Pat Quinn’s State of the State address, his budget director has sent lawmakers a letter detailing “encouraging” developments on Illinois’ billions in unpaid bills. The Sunday letter says the backlog will be $5.6 billion by fiscal year’s end, down from roughly $10 billion. Budget chief Jerry Stermer says if progress continues Illinois will be in line with “private-sector benchmarks.” Republicans say the backlog is still too high and the 2011 income tax increase was pitched to fix it. The increase expires next year. Quinn has been noncommittal on if he’ll push for an extension. A budget spokesman says there isn’t a connection between the letter and Quinn’s Wednesday speech. He says Quinn will later outline budget issues.

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Illinois Job Numbers Not Showing Improvement

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Unemployment rate holds at 9%

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Military a Big Employer in the State

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$13 billion; 150,000 jobs attributed to Illinois economy

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Rauner Calls State Budget “Stunningly Bad,” Provides No Solution

Illinois Republican gubernatorial candidate businessman Bruce Rauner participates in a Republican gubernatorial candidate debate Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014, in Springfield, Ill. The four Republican gubernatorial candidates said that they’ll be willing to work with unions if elected but differed on how to approach the relationship during a downstate debate that largely focused on pension reform, taxes and just briefly on personal issues that have dogged some of the candidates.

Governor-elect Bruce Rauner says Illinois' financial condition is "stunningly bad'' and it will require "strong action'' to fix it.

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Congresswoman Duckworth Gives Birth

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War vet and baby daughter are doing well

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Lawmakers Override Governor’s FOIA Veto

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The measure would allow governments to charge higher fees to process some Freedom of Information Act requests.