CHICAGO (AP) - The state of Illinois has sold $4.5 billion in general obligation bonds to pay down a portion of Illinois' roughly $15 billion backlog of unpaid bills.
Officials say the proceeds for Wednesday's bond sale and those from the last week's $1.5 billion general obligation bond sale will be used to help cut Illinois' backlog approximately in half by June 2018.
Illinois capital markets director Kelly Hutchinson says the state locked in an interest rate of 3.5 percent on bond issues.
The rate is considered remarkable given Illinois experts expected the state's poor credit to drive interest as high as 6.5 percent. It's far lower than taxpayers have to fork over in late-payment fees.
According to Gov. Bruce Rauner's office, the state will return to the capital markets later this year with a $750 million general obligation bond issue for 2018 capital projects.
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