Illinois governor to borrow up to $6B to pay off late bills

Illinois governor to borrow up to $6B to pay off late bills (WICS)

Gov. Bruce Rauner says his administration will borrow money at a lower interest rate to pay off some of the state's overdue bills.

The Republican announced Thursday he will take advantage of authority the Legislature included in the budget adopted in July.

“It's no different than if we were refinancing your home,” said Dan Pietroburgo, a financial advisor with Benjamin F. Edwards & Co. “That might save you a couple hundred bucks a month, now we're able to save maybe a couple million dollars a day just in the amount of interest we're having to pay."

The state has $15 billion in past-due bills largely because of a two-year stalemate over an annual budget that ended a plan lawmakers approved over Rauner's veto.

Fiscal officials determined this week that more than $5 billion of the debt is assessed a 12 percent late payment fee.

Illinois has the nation's worst credit rating. But officials believe they could borrow up to $6 billion at a rate of 6 percent or lower.

Rauner's office says details are being worked out. Bonds must be sold by year's end.

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