SPRINGFIELD -- Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation allowing the state to spend an additional $1.8 billion in the current budget year.
The measure passed the legislature before the General Assembly adjourned for the spring last month. It adds to the $35.4 billion 2014 budget lawmakers approved last May.
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Rep. Greg Harris, a Chicago Democrat and a House budget negotiator, said the state had higher-than-projected revenue, thanks to an improved economy that generated more sales and income tax than was anticipated.
The supplemental budget legislation allocates about $900 million to paying down Illinois' backlog of unpaid bills. The comptroller's office said earlier this month that the backlog is about $4.7 billion.
Extra funds also will go toward Medicaid and public safety.