Senate Democrats Consider Tax Increase

12/15/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Democrats who control the Illinois Senate hinted Thursday that some kind of tax increase may be on the horizon.

With the state's backlog of unpaid bills projected to hit the $5 billion mark by March, Senate leaders said the state must find new ways to pay for existing services.

"Maybe we need to look at alternative ways to raise revenue," said state Sen. James Clayborne, a Belleville Democrat vying to become the next Senate president.

State Sen. Donne Trotter, D-Chicago, a top budget expert in the Senate, said lawmakers would probably have to find new sources of cash to pay bills.

"We would hope so," Trotter said.

The talk of tax increases came as Comptroller Dan Hynes warned in a letter to the governor and legislative leaders Thursday that the backlog of bills owed to state vendors was at an unprecedented $4 billion, with many vendors waiting three months or longer to get paid.

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