(The Center Square) – Illinois has paid back only $200 million of a $1.2 billion loan to bridge last year’s spending plan and the state plans to borrow billions more next week. 

During a Restore Illinois Collaborative Commission hearing this week, state Rep. Dan Caulkins, R-Decatur, asked Governor’s Office of Management and Budget Director Alexis Sturm about the recent borrowing.

“We did borrow [$1.2 billion] to close out Fiscal Year ‘20, that was built into the budget to repay that,” Sturm said. “The borrowing that we are doing next week is going to be repaid over three years.”

The state’s set to borrow an additional $2 billion next week.

“We have not paid back the $1.2 [billion] in its entirety yet, we have spread out the repayment over the course of Fiscal Year ‘21 relatively evenly to minimize the impact on the vendors awaiting payment from the state,” Sturm said.

Illinois’ backlog of unpaid bills as of Thursday was $7.8 billion.

Caulkins said all that borrowing is on top of the state's growing deficit. Recent projections have the state budget that ends this summer around $4 billion out of balance.

“I don’t find it very satisfying that we borrowed money against revenue that was delayed and then we didn’t use that revenue to pay back the money that we borrowed,” Caulkins said. “Now we’re going to be trying to pay back another billion dollars, plus the $2 billion, on top of money that we don’t have somehow.”

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said he’s eying cuts before seeking increased revenue to balance the budget, but no specific cuts have been announced.