Springfield, IL – Illinois officials say the state has $1.7 billion in unpaid bills, the biggest backlog ever. It means doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, and nursing homes are waiting on reimbursements for taking care of poor patients on Medicaid. Local governments and social services agencies also are waiting.
The state borrowed a billion dollars this spring to help reduce a backlog then, but a spokeswoman says it has steadily climbed since that time because there isn't as much tax money coming into the state treasury to pay the bills.
Today (Dec. 12) is the 199th anniversary of the arrival of the explorers Lewis and Clark near present-day Hartford, Ill. near St. Louis. That's where the group spent its first winter before starting the two-year journey to the west.
A ceremony this morning will mark the opening of a new visitor's center near the site of that camp, which aims to point out Illinois' role in the Lewis and Clark expedition.
Jefferson City, MO – The state's top highway engineer says the state wants to be sure there are no secrets in the state's transportation funding.
Kevin Keith is chief engineer for the Missouri Department of Transportation. He said today that highway officials are working on a new plan to divide road construction money between urban and rural Missouri.