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How Deep Is Illinois' Budget Hole? Oh, About 651 Miles

By DNAinfo Staff | March 8, 2017 12:41pm | Updated on March 12, 2017 10:50am
 A $100 bill is seen in this file photo.
A $100 bill is seen in this file photo.
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CHICAGO — Illinois' annual audit released this week put the hole in the state's general funds budget at $9.6 billion.

That doesn't include a $130 billion in unfunded pension liability, a $33 billion obligation for state retiree healthcare and an assortment of other bills that stand at $12 billion, according to a Reuters report.

State Comptroller Susana Mendoza calls the situation "abysmal."

Exactly how much is $9.6 billion?

Using the "Grasping Large Numbers" portion of the Endowment for Human Development site, here are some calculations:

• $9.6 billion in one dollar bills piled in a stack would measure 651 miles.

• $9.6 billion laid flat would cover 38.4 square miles.

• $9.6 billion placed end to end would be 930,240 miles long.

• $9.6 billion spent at $20 per second, 24 hours per day, would take someone about 15 years to go broke. 

Calculatorsite.com says counting to 9.6 billion would take a person more than 250 years.

Mendoza said the state cannot generate enough cash to pay its expenses on time. Reuters says Illinois' credit rating is the weakest among the states.