By The Associated Press

Analysis: Backlog of unpaid Ill. bills will shrink

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A new analysis of the Illinois budget predicts a modest reduction in the state's huge backlog of unpaid bills.

The Civic Federation says the mix of overdue bills, Medicaid payments and insurance claims could drop by 14 percent, to $7.6 billion.

But the report released Monday warns of some trouble spots.

The Civic Federation says state officials didn't include enough money for the Medicaid program and insurance claims from public employees. It also argues some of the projections for trimming Medicaid costs are unrealistic.

Unless officials address those problems, the budget deficit could start growing again.

Gov. Pat Quinn's office didn't address the report's specific findings, but did agree that there's still much work to be done on the budget -- especially on cutting pension expenses.

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