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State

Illinois deficit at $45 billion

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — An annual state report puts the Illinois deficit at nearly $45 billion.

Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka released the report Wednesday. She says the shortfall grew by less than 1 percent from the previous year. She says the growth in liabilities was mostly because of obligations to state pension systems and other post-employment benefits.

The state has a $100 billion shortfall in its five pension systems. But Topinka's office says the accounting method used in this report measures only what should have been set aside to keep pace with obligations — not the total debt.

Lawmakers and Gov. Pat Quinn adopted a plan last fall to reduce that debt over 30 years, but it has been challenged in court.

The general spending account deficit fell 19 percent to $7.3 billion.

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