Quinn: Kirk's report exaggerates state's debt

October 12, 2011

(WBEZ/Jennifer Brandel)
Ill. Gov. Pat Quinn stopped for a shoe shine after speaking about breast cancer awareness Wednesday.

Ill. Gov. Pat Quinn said Wednesday that a recent report exaggerates the state's debt.

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., released the report saying the state has $8.3 billion worth of unpaid bills. But the state comptroller said the number is more like $5.1 billion.

Quinn said the state is making progress in cutting its unpaid bills.

"I think (Kirk) probably exaggerated some of the numbers. We have whittled down the bills we have to pay, we still have a long way to go. You know if it's just woe is me and a doomsayer - I don't think that's particularly helpful," Quinn told reporters Wednesday at an unrelated news conference.

Quinn said creating jobs is the key to improving Illinois' debt standing.