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Experts say Illinois appears to be the worst state in the country when it comes to paying bills late.

Illinois regularly lets several billion dollars of bills stack up. Businesses and community groups sometimes wait months to be paid for their services.

Many states slow down payments when money is tight, but it has become the status quo in Illinois.

The Council of State Governments says it doesn't know of any other state that matches Illinois' backlog, which topped $5 billion last month.

And an expert with the Urban Institute think tank says Illinois wins the prize for worst in the country.

An Urban Institute survey in 2009 found that more non-profit groups reported late payments in Illinois than in any other state.

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