CHICAGO (AP) - As Illinois' budget crisis worsens and the state lags further behind in paying bills, those that serve the state's neediest are forced to make dire decisions and at-times heroic sacrifices to pick up the slack.
The owner of a southern Illinois child care center borrowed money from family when he didn't get the state funding he was promised on time and faced laying off employees and cutting service.
Other employees of the thousands of charities, nonprofits and community groups have taken pay cuts, unpaid furloughs and increased workloads.
An analysis of state data by The Associated Press found the backlog amounted to more than 31,000 bills totaling $425 million.
The Department of Human Services had $105.4 million in bills that were more than a month old as of early September.