A new report from the state's comptroller finds Illinois' budget hangs in the balance of debt and need. Republican Judy Baar Topinka says companies, organizations and individuals hired by the state will have to wait to get paid.
Topinka projects Illinois is using about $5 billion of this year's earnings to pay down last year's bills, creating a backlog that forces vendors to wait for their checks.
Topinka says, unless the state puts more money into employees' health insurance, it will shove bills over to next year and end up costing more. She says spending more money now would further unbalance the budget.
Illinois Public Radio's Amanda Vinicky contributed to this report