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Illinois Human Services agency owes $168M in back payments

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Capitol building in Springfield, Illinois.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) _ Officials say more than 800 private companies doing work for the Department of Human Services haven’t been paid because of the budget stalemate.

Human Services Secretary James Dimas told a Senate appropriations committee Wednesday the agency owes about $168 million in overdue bills since July 1 when the budget should have taken effect.

Committee members asked Dimas about the backlog as they convened to discuss the Human Services budget for the coming year. But Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democrats controlling the Legislature continue to bicker over a spending plan for ths year.

Dimas presented a fiscal year 2017 budget of about $14 billion. The committee took no action.