CHICAGO (AP) -- A report from the Chicago-based Civic Federation predicts that Illinois' backlog of unpaid bills will reach nearly $22 billion within five years without legislative action to hold down pension costs.
The Civic Federation's analysis was released Monday. The watchdog group notes some improvement since last year when it was forecasting a $35 billion backlog in overdue bills. The improved outlook is largely because of $1.6 billion in Medicaid cuts Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law last year.
Civic Federation President Laurence Msall says Illinois lawmakers need to restructure its pension systems because they are keeping the state in what he calls "its fiscal downspin."
The report says the state's backlog of unpaid bills is expected to grow to $21.7 billion in 2018 from $7.8 billion this year.