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St. Clair County judge to decide if state workers get paid during budget impasse

Belleville News Democrat

Thursday, February 16, 2017  |  Article  |  From staff and wire reports

Attorney General (6) , Budget--State (8) , Governor (44) Madigan, Michael--State House, 22
A judge in St. Clair County is set to consider a request to halt state worker paychecks unless lawmakers resolve the state’s nearly two-year budget impasse.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan is asking the judge to reverse a previous court order requiring Illinois to pay state employees in the absence of a spending plan. The Democrat argues that stopping pay is constitutional and will hasten a budget agreement.

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner has criticized Madigan’s legal move, suggesting she wants to create a “crisis” that would shut down the government. Madigan is the daughter of Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan.

Both Democrats and Republicans in the Illinois House say worker paychecks should continue. They have launched separate bills seeking to avert a government shutdown if Madigan’s motion succeeds.

The hearing was set to begin at 1:30 p.m. Thursday before Circuit Judge Robert LeChien at the courthouse in Belleville.

Attorney General Madigan filed her motion in January to stop the $400 million-a-month payroll, arguing the state Constitution stipulates that money should not be spent unless lawmakers have passed legislation to OK it.

Lisa Madigan argues that stopping pay is constitutional and will hasten a budget agreement.