Illinois borrows millions for building despite budget mess

Illinois has borrowed $550 million for construction at what Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration says is a record-low interest rate despite the state’s beleaguered financial position.
    
Rauner’s office announced Thursday that it sold $550 million in bonds at an interest rate of 3.7 percent. That’s below the 4 percent interest offered when it sold $480 million in January.
    
Rauner spokeswoman Catherine Kelly contends it’s the lowest interest rate in history among similarly situated general obligation bonds.
    
But most of the money can’t be spent without authorization by the General Assembly. The Democratic-controlled Legislature adjourned May 31 without reaching a budget agreement with Republican governor for the second straight year.
    
Of the proceeds, $330 million would go toward mass transit projects, $200 million to road construction and $20 million for other infrastructure.

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