Reactions On Ruling To Continue Paying State Employees
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WRSP) —
State workers in Illinois will continue to get paid after a St. Clair County judge denied Attorney General Lisa Madigan's request to stop pay unless lawmakers resolve the budget impasse.
Reaction has poured in from the Attorney General, top lawmakers, and unions representing state workers.
The state has been without a budget for nearly two years now. There was a court order in place to continue paying state workers, despite the lack of a budget. Earlier this year, the Attorney General made a motion to dissolve that order, which would have stopped paying state employees completely until the state came up with a budget.
Governor Bruce Rauner's office released a statement in response to Thursday's ruling, saying, "We're pleased our hard working state employees, who show up to work every day on behalf of the people of Illinois, will continue to be paid. It is our hope the Attorney General drops this lawsuit so the bipartisan negotiations in the senate can continue in order to reach a balanced budget with changes to get our state back on track."
AFSCME, the state's largest public employee union, said they're happy with the judge's decision. The union said in a statement, "Through all state government's chaos of the past two years, the people of Illinois have been able to rely on state workers to be there, providing important public services."
Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office is not backing down after Thursday's ruling. A spokesperson says they will appeal the court's order. In a statement, the Attorney General's office said, "The Illinois Constitution requires an enacted appropriation for state spending. Under the current injunction, the state has spent over $3 billion in taxpayer money without any transparency or legislative debate as required by law."
Fox Illinois spoke with some state employees on Thursday who said they are relieved to be getting paid, but feel like they're pawns being used in legislators' games.
This is not a done deal. The Attorney General can appeal this decision, and the case could go to the Supreme Court.