Another day closer to the deadline… another day with no budget agreement. House Speaker Mike Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton met with the governor late Monday, but spokesmen said no progress was made. Governor Bruce Rauner issued a memo to state employees, attempting to reassure them they’ll be paid on time – he says administration lawyers will work on that.

But Attorney General Lisa Madigan says the comptroller can’t pay workers if there’s not an approved budget to pay them from, such a move would violate separation of powers.

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“In keeping with [Ill. Const. art. VIII section 2(b)], the State Comptroller Act prohibits the Comptroller from paying vouchers that are not ‘pursuant to law and authorized,” Madigan’s office wrote in a statement.

“In AFSCME v. Netsch, 216 Ill. App. 3d 566, 568 (4th Dist. 1991), the court held that the Comptroller could not pay state employees in the absence of an appropriation and ‘any attempt by the comptroller to issue the funds in the absence of an appropriation bill signed into law by the governor would create obvious problems under the separation of powers doctrine.”

The new fiscal year begins Wednesday. Credit Union 1 is set to offer state workers no interest loans in the absence of a budget agreement.

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