Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn last week signed a measure that allows the state to borrow $500 million from two state funds to kick-start its hospital assessment tax program, which was enacted to leverage additional federal Medicaid dollars and expedite payments to hospitals.

The state will take $335 million from a fund that goes to cover debt service to retire general obligation bonds and will use another $175 million from the State Employees’ Retirement System fund. The state will repay the money with interest next month. In the past, Illinois has issued short-term certificates to jump-start the program.

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