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.
The Illinois House closed out the week with Democrats taking another whack at the governor's "Turnaround Agenda."
New University of Illinois president Timothy Killeen is reacting to published reports suggesting that community college and university presidents get some pretty expensive perks.
A measure affecting water supplies in some regional communities has passed through the General Assembly.
Cook County property tax records show that an entity controlled by the owner of the Chicago Cubs has purchased three more rooftop buildings next to Wrigley Field.