Illinois begins bond offering to pay down debt

Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration has made a large payment toward a $16 billion pile of overdue bills.

He had to borrow the money to cover the check, though.

On Ruesday, Rauner announced the sale of $1.5 billion in general obligation bonds at an interest rate of 3.5 percent.

Nearly one-third of the backlog is currently 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.