For the past 4 months, Illinois has been embroiled in a budget impasse between the state’s Republican governor, and the Democratic legislature. They’ve gone so long without a budget, that they have to pay their lottery winners in IOUs and may have to shorten the length of their school year. They’re essentially rationing and juggling the finances of their public institutions until the government comes up with a budget. This has resulted in a frightening situation for Illinois’ retirees, since the state has announced that they’re going to hold off on paying their pension department for the near future.

According to Comptroller Leslie Munger, Illinois will have to postpone a $560 million payment that was due to the state’s retirees in November, and the system won’t be paid in full until June. Munger told reporters on Wednesday that “this decision is choosing the least of a number of bad options” However, she wouldn’t go so far as to use scary words like “bankruptcy” “insolvency” or “default,” even though they perfectly describe the financial mess that her state is in. She told the reporters that “for all intents and purposes, we are out of money now.” MORE