The Senate returned to Springfield November 12 to begin the fall “veto session,” though a lack of legislation made for a light week, according to Senator Tim Bivins.

While there were not many bills on the Senate calendar, Senator Bivins said there are critical budget issues that need to be addressed. Illinois Comptroller Dan Hynes recently sent a letter to Governor Rod Blagojevich warning that the state’s massive backlog of overdue bills has reached nearly $4 billion – and that number could increase to $5 billion by spring.

Businesses that provide state services and Medicaid providers are currently waiting up to 12 weeks to receive payment from the state. If Illinois’ financial problems aren’t rectified soon, Comptroller Hynes says the “crisis” could impact schools, prisons, mental health facilities and law enforcement.

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