The Illinois comptroller is warning that without a budget by the end of the month, the state will stop paying its bills.
State Comptroller Leslie G. Munger says some things will be paid: Debt service payments, pension contributions, pension benefits to retirees, temporary assistance for needy families and some other programs for the blind, elderly and disabled. What won’t be? Almost everything else.
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“Medicaid provider payment will stop. State employees will begin missing their paychecks on July 15, and I –we – will be asking them to come to work with no idea of when we will be able to pay them,” she said at a news conference today (Wednesday) in Chicago.
She said it was her legal staff that determined what would be paid and what would not be paid. She was asked whether the decision with respect to employee payroll was defensible in a lawsuit, and she said this is the advice she received for her office; a judge hearing a lawsuit might decide otherwise.
Munger was urging lawmakers and the governor to come to terms, but she is backing the governor’s position, saying non-budget-related reforms do belong in the negotiation.
The next payment of state aid to schools is Aug. 10, so that’s not in immediate peril, but it is on the horizon.
The General Assembly did pass a budget, but it is billions out of balance and it was not sent to the governor.