Today is July 1st, 2015. Today is the start of a new year in Illinois. Illinois residents are beginning that new year… without a budget and no way to pay the bills.
As expected, last night’s deadline for state legislators and Governor Bruce Rauner to agree on a spending plan for FY2016 came and went without an agreement. As of this morning, the State of Illinois does not have the ability to pay any bills – including state employee paychecks – that are incurred in this new fiscal year.
Governor Rauner, however, continues to promise state employees that they will be paid on time and in full, despite the budget impasse. Attorney General Lisa Madigan, however, says that’s a promise that Rauner can’t keep.
The Governor is relying on a 2007 court ruling that allowed for state paychecks to be sent out before the budget was approved… but, the judge in that case made it clear that the decision was not to be used as a legal precedent. Madigan points to that statement as evidence that Comptroller Leslie Munger’s office will not be able to issue paychecks without a signed budget.
And, so, the battle rages on under the Statehouse Dome…