I was a bit shocked to learn the state of Illinois is currently in the hole for $6 billion in unpaid bills.
The next budget year is looking like it will be $13 billion deeper in debt.
We are not just talking about basic budget cuts, but also services provided such as medical care for the needy, home care for the elderly, and day care for the working poor & adolescent substance abuse treatment programs, already in payment arrears of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
How bad is it?
• No bullets for the Department of Corrections. They must pay up front.
• State legislators got eviction notices for non payment of rent.
• One State legislator had to go pay the phone bill, after the service was cut off for non payment.
• Each Illinois household owes $25,000 to cover the debt.
Moody's cut other Illinois ratings, affecting about $24 billion of outstanding debt, including the state's Build Illinois sales tax revenue bonds, also cut to A2 from A1.
The downgrade gave Illinois the second lowest U.S. state rating from Moody's, with California having the lowest at Baa1, a Moody's spokesman said.
With an 11 percent jobless rate in October, Illinois was among half a dozen U.S. states with double digit unemployment.
Other states, such as California and Michigan have also suffered debt rating downgrades this year as the recession and unemployment punched holes in their budgets.
Another one bites the dust. Damn