Good tax season catches up on delayed bills; but no surplus

Published 05/22 2013 06:51PM

Updated 05/22 2013 06:53PM

SPRINGFIELD -- Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka is warning lawmakers to not be fooled by extra cash coming to the state. It may look good right now, but she warns it's not going to last for long.

Illinois had a really good tax season, so revenue is up. That's helped pay down some old bills, but that's all it's done. It hasn't freed up extra money like some might think.

Topinka says it's important lawmakers realize that and don't go on any "spending sprees." Currently, they're working on next year's budget. She says they need to be extremely cautious.

The backlog is expected to start growing again. By August, it could jump up to $7.5 billion. So, very long and delayed payments will be back.

The extra tax revenue helped dramatically cut down the backlog of bills. It went from $8.5 billion at the start of April to $5.8 billion Wednesday. It also helped speed up delayed payments for vendors.

Previously, Topinka's office was paying back bills from December. Now, it's only dealing with ones from April.

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