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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

19 mins ago - Health

WHO says Omicron poses "very high" risk

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus speaking in Geneva in October. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

The World Health Organization said Monday in a new risk assessment that it believes the COVID-19 Omicron variant poses a "very high" risk to the globe because it may be more transmissible than other strains of the virus.

Why it matters: Though the WHO acknowledged there are still many uncertainties associated with the variant, the agency said it believes the likelihood of potential further spread of Omicron around the world is "high."

Battle for the soul of a new web

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A well-funded and intensely motivated chunk of tech's hive mind is finding common cause in a vast new project: rebuilding the web on a foundation of cryptocurrency and blockchain tech. They call it "Web3."

The big picture: Developers, investors and early adopters imagine a future in which the technologies that enable Bitcoin and Ethereum will break up the concentrated power today's tech giants wield and usher in a golden age of individual empowerment and entrepreneurial freedom.

First look: Biden summons top CEOs on supply chain

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Biden will meet Monday afternoon with CEOs of big retailers, grocers and consumer-products firms to send this message, according to the White House: Products will be on shelves for holiday shopping.

Zoom out: Black Friday sales rebounded from 2020.