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Seth Perlman / AP

Illinois hasn't paid its bills in two years and it's now facing a $14.6 billion (and counting) debt that is directly affecting the state's hospitals, schools, and state employees.

The state's partisan politics have made it impossible to settle on spending issues and term limits, ultimately leaving Illinois without a proper budget these past two years. The Democratic comptroller predicts the state will owe at least $16 billion in unpaid bills, per WSJ, and on top of that, Illinois hasn't paid its state utility bills to Springfield yet.

Why it matters: Illinois' financial situation is quickly becoming one of the worst in the nation. Moody's Investors Service estimated that the state has an estimated $250 billion in unfunded pension liabilities, per WSJ, on top of its other issues. Furthermore, the state's rating could be lowered to junk "as early as this week," the Journal notes.

The numbers:

  • The two hospital systems in the state's capital are owed a collective $220 million
  • Illinois owes the state's dentists approximately $225 million (with bills going back 23 months)
  • Another 10-hospital network is owed $115 million (with bills going back 10 months)
  • Since 2015, there's been a $2 million decrease in the state's sales-tax revenue
  • State funding for schools have dramatically decreased: Since 2015, Eastern Illinois University received approx. $53 million less than it normally would — and student enrollment and university employment has decreased because of it.
  • A $40 million project that will rebuild roads in Urbana is going to be halted on June 30
  • 90% of the state's counties lost residents since 2016 (37,508 people left last year), dramatically reducing its tax base

Go deeper

Why online games have a shorter life span

"Grand Theft Auto Online" will join a growing list of obsolete games on older platforms this December when Rockstar Game shuts down the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game.

Why it matters: Video game preservation is one of the biggest challenges when it comes to video games, physical or otherwise.

Historic heat wave expands across California, wildfire risk builds

Forecast high temperatures on Thursday from the National Weather Service. (Weatherbell)d

The record-breaking heat wave roasting the West is expanding its grip on Thursday, with the focus of the triple-digit heat shifting into California — particularly the Central Valley and desert regions.

Why it matters: Across the West, the combination of record heat, preexisting drought conditions, and dry lightning strikes from afternoon thunderstorms threatens to ignite numerous wildfires Thursday.

Albuquerque marks 50th anniversary of uprising over police violence

Rebellion at Roosevelt Park in Albuquerque, N.M., June 1971. Photo: Guy Bralley/Albuquerque Journal

Activists in Albuquerque this week commemorated the 50th anniversary of one of the first modern Mexican American rebellions against police over discrimination and harassment.

Why it matters: The "Albuquerque uprising" is part of the forgotten history of protests against police mistreatment of Latinos in the 1960s and 1970s. Since the murder of George Floyd, Latino advocates have tried to draw attention to that history and the often-overlooked police violence against Hispanics today.