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Illinois’ Bill Backlog Could Reach $47 Billion by 2022: Report

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NBC Bay Area, File image

If you thought Illinois’ finances couldn’t possibly get any worse, brace yourself.

A new report from Gov. Bruce Rauner’s Office of Management & Budget projects a $47 billion bill backlog by 2022 if the state continues down its current fiscal path.

On Wednesday, Rauner and the state’s top legislative leaders reviewed the report during budget negotiations. Senate President John Cullerton called the outlook “dire.”

Illinois’ current bill backlog is roughly $10.6 billion, according to the comptroller’s office. The report from Rauner’s budget office projects the backlog will jump to roughly $13.5 billion in 2017, then more than triple over the next five years.

Both Rauner and top Democrats have repeatedly pushed for a full, balanced budget. However, an elusive “grand bargain” seemingly hinges on a deal that would combine revenue from Democratic tax hikes and Republican reforms, which have been outlined in the governor’s “turnaround agenda.”

The state’s current stopgap funding agreement is set to expire at the end of the year. On Wednesday, Cullerton reiterated his push for a timely budget compromise.

“The focus has to be on the budget, so we hope we can get the budget addressed obviously in the veto session,” he said.

The General Assembly’s final veto session is slated for December 1. The body met Tuesday and will reconvene in Springfield on November 29.

Here’s a full, year-by-year breakdown of projected backlogs:

2017: $13.543 billion

2018: $20.639 billion

2019: $27.692 billion

2020: $34.103 billion

2021: $40.593 billion

2022: $47.121 billion

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