A judge in St. Clair County has denied a request by Attorney General Lisa Madigan to withhold state worker pay if a budget is not passed by the end of the month.
That’s according to the Governor’s office, which issued a statement immediately after the ruling was made.
Rauner’s General Counsel Dennis Murashko said in a statement, “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.”
Madigan had asked the judge to reverse a court order which had allowed the state to continue to pay its workers even without a budget. Had she succeeded, paychecks would have stopped being issued by the end of February.
The Governor argued against the move, saying it would have the practical impact of creating the threat of a state government shutdown, likely leading to another short-term budget extension rather than a bi-partisan compromise plan.
Currently, Democrats and Republicans in the State Senate are working on a so-called ‘Grand Bargain’ plan which would implement several changes in the budget at once, including an agreement on an income tax increase in exchange for a property tax freeze and pro-business reforms.