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Report: Illinois could be short $8.3B this year

(via Flickr/jglazer75)
The interior of the dome of the Illinois Capitol building.

A new report says Illinois remains in deep budget trouble.

The government watchdog group the Civic Federation says in a Monday report that Illinois could be $8.3 billion in the red when the fiscal year ends next June.

The news comes despite a significant boost in the state income tax rate.

The $8.3 billion includes $5.5 billion in unpaid bills and another $2.8 billion from a payment backlog for Medicaid, employee health insurance bills and business tax refunds.

Civic Federation leader Laurence Msall says the report is wake-up call that the state is still losing financial ground. The income tax increase brought in more money and the state has made cuts, but he says that was wiped away by growing pension and debt repayment costs.

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