Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka last week slammed a legislative proposal to borrow $4 billion to pay down the state’s mammoth bill backlog, warning that the state couldn’t afford the new debt. She underscored the toll that the state’s cash crunch and existing debts have already taken on its credit rating.

“When you’re drowning in debt you don’t start applying for new credit cards,” Topinka said. “The rush of new cash may create a short term feeling of relief but it will make our situation worse, and cost our taxpayers even more, in the long haul.”

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