Illinois Facing Debt Payments

Illinois is starting to get hit with rising interest payments on debt borrowed. Illinois Policy points out how compound interest is a vicious beast once it takes hold:

According to the fiscal year 2015 budget summary from the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability the cost of debt service in fiscal year 2015 is nearly $4 billion on outstanding bond debt of nearly $32 billion. The debt service amounts to more than 11 percent of the state’s anticipated revenues for the fiscal year – 11 percent that can’t be used for essential programs.

Illinois will not be the only heavy spending state to start getting hammered on debt payments. But here is how a debt situation gets out of control:

Primarily as a result of these nontraditional uses of bond debt, the state began fiscal year 2015 saddled with $32 billion in bond debt requiring $4 billion, or 11 percent of its general funds budget, to pay the annual debt service. This represents nearly a 400 percent growth in debt service, more than 300 percent growth in outstanding bond debt, and more than 200 percent growth in debt service as a percentage of general revenues since 2002.

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