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Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka says the stack of unpaid bills in her office tops $4.2 billion and even more bills are piled up in other government departments.

She said Wednesday the state's overall backlog is about $8.5 billion.

That means organizations that provide services for the state, from businesses to hospitals to charity groups, must wait months to be paid for their work. Topinka's office is still paying bills that date back to Sept. 1 - four and a half months ago.

Illinois is behind on its bills even after officials cut spending and raised taxes.

Topinka's report predicts the backlog will continue at similar rates.

Some officials want to borrow money so state government can pay its vendors, but Topinka argues against more borrowing.

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