Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration has made a large payment toward a $16 billion pile of overdue bills.

It’s more borrowed money. But the Republican governor announced a sale Tuesday of $1.5 billion in general obligation bonds at an interest rate of 3.5 percent. That’s lower than Illinois pays in late charges.

Nearly one-third of the backlog is subject to a 12 percent annual late charge Democratic Comptroller Susana Mendoza says that’s about $2 million a day. She has urged Rauner since summer to sell bonds.

Rauner says his budget office will go to the market with another $4.5 billion bond sale next week.

The bill backlog tripled after Rauner took office in 2015 because he squared off with Democrats who control the Legislature over spending and taxes.

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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