Thursday, July 1, 2021
SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Comptroller Susana A. Mendoza shared the great news that Illinois begins Fiscal Year 2022 today with the lowest backlog of bills in decades: $2.6 billion. That’s down from a high of $16.7 billion just four years ago during a budget impasse under a previous administration.
“I promised as your State Comptroller that I would be laser-focused on paying down the state’s backlog of bills,” Mendoza said. “Even in the middle of a global pandemic – and note BEFORE ANY FEDERAL ARP FUNDS HAVE ARRIVED – we have shown the discipline to pay our bills as we seek to put Illinois’ finances back on track.”
This morning, Comptroller Mendoza sent letters to the major bond-rating agencies that evaluate Illinois’ creditworthiness sharing the good news. Moody’s Investor Services gave Illinois its first credit upgrade in more than 20 years Tuesday, and Comptroller Mendoza encouraged the other major rating agencies to upgrade their ratings of the state’s creditworthiness. All three agencies have in recent weeks improved their outlooks on Illinois’ finances.
The letter also notes that at the close of the fiscal year, the State repaid half of the $2 billion borrowed during the pandemic from the Federal Reserve. This early repayment will save Illinois taxpayers as much as $100 million in interest costs.