Comptroller: Illinois' backlog of unpaid bills means taxpayer money gets 'flushed away'

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) - Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka says the ever-long list of vendors waiting on payments from the state means taxpayers have to pay interest and their money is being "flushed away."

That's according to a story Sunday in the Peoria Journal Star. The story is part of GateHouse newspapers' series on Illinois' backlog of unpaid bills.

The newspaper reports the total for outstanding bills was roughly $6 billion last week but tens of millions collected in income taxes will be diverted to cover interest owed on late payments.

If the state doesn't pay its bills on time - after 90 days - private vendors become eligible for interest, which accrues monthly until bills are paid.

Topinka says it's another way that taxpayers are paying for years of financial mismanagement.

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