I'd almost missed this news in the rush of activity at Libertycon, but if you're owed money by Illinois, whether a debt that must be paid, or your salary, or your pension . . . you'd better have enough cash reserves to survive without it, if this goes on.
A federal judge on Friday ordered Illinois to start paying $293 million in state money toward Medicaid bills every month and an additional $1 billion over the course of the next year, worsening a cash-flow problem caused by two years of budget-free spending by state government.
. . .
Comptroller Susana Mendoza ... said Friday's ruling would cause her to likely have to cut payments to the state's pension funds, state payroll or payments to local governments. Payments to bond holders won't be interrupted, she said.
"As if the governor and legislators needed any more reason to compromise and settle on a comprehensive budget plan immediately, Friday's ruling by the U.S. District Court takes the state's finances from horrific to catastrophic," Mendoza said in a statement. "A comprehensive budget plan must be passed immediately."
There's more at the link.
Please note the critical sentence in Comptroller Mendoza's statement:
"Friday's ruling by the U.S. District Court takes the state's finances from horrific to catastrophic"
The person speaking is the one currently juggling Illinois' ever-fewer free dollars, deciding each month which bills to pay and which to delay. The state's backlog - payments it owes, and is supposed to have made already, but has not - amounted as of June 30th to $14,711,352,943.90. Yes, that's $14 billion plus. It has to make those backlogged payments over and above the routine, everyday payments it has to make for all normal transactions. No wonder Ms. Mendoza calls the state's finances 'catastrophic'. It's a pretty accurate description.
Folks, if you depend financially on the state of Illinois, you need to be implementing your financial-emergency contingency plans. Now. If you haven't made those plans yet, it's probably too late to start.