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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

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Harris breaks tie as Senate proceeds with lengthy debate on COVID relief bill

Photo: Oliver Contreras/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Senate on Thursday voted 51-50 — with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie — to proceed to debate on President Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus rescue package, likely setting up a final vote this weekend.

The state of play: Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) is forcing the Senate clerk to read the entire 628-page bill on the floor, a procedural move that will likely add 10 hours to the 20 hours already allotted for debate.

2 hours ago - World

Netanyahu campaigns against Biden's plan to save Iran deal

Netanyahu campaigns at a gym last month. Photo: Pool/AFP via Getty

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu indirectly criticized the Biden administration for its intention to return to the Iran nuclear deal and told his supporters he was prepared to "stand against the entire world" to stop it.

Why it matters: This is a major change of tune for Netanyahu, who had been careful in his statements on the Iran deal and avoided publicly criticizing President Biden. The statement was part of Netanyahu's attempt to rally his base ahead of Israel's election on March 23.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Tech: "Fludemic" model accurately maps COVID hotspotsVirtual doctor's visits and digital health tools take off.
  2. Politics: Schumer says Senate will stay through weekend to vote on COVID relief — Republican governor of West Virginia says there's no plan to lift mask mandate.
  3. World: Canada vaccine panel recommends 4 months between doses.
  4. Business: Firms develop new ways to inoculate the public.
  5. Local: Ultra-rich Florida community got vaccinations in January.