The state closed out the calendar year with a record backlog of more than $1.7 billion in bills, according to a report released this week by Comptroller Daniel Hynes.

The figure is up from $1.3 billion a year earlier. The number of days Illinois takes to pay its bills is also on the rise, increasing to 34 business days from 22 days a year ago. The state has in the past issued short-term general obligation notes to help reduce delays.

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