Government
12:57 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

UPDATED STORY: Parts Of New Illinois Budget Remain Unsigned

Credit stl.today

Update on 7/12/13: Workers at state parks and fairs will get paid after all, according to Brad Hahn, spokesman for the Illinois comptroller. He says the portion of the budget affecting them has been signed by Governor Quinn, so the threat of late paychecks for those workers is over. 

Tens of thousands of state workers in Illinois are at risk of missing their next paycheck. That's because Governor Pat Quinn hasn't signed a bill that covers certain elements of the new state budget.

It would provide funding for agencies dealing with things like state campgrounds and state fairs. A spokeswoman for the governor says Quinn is "carefully reviewing the bill.'' 

But Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka warns that, if action isn't taken by July 15th, her office won't have the ability to issue the paychecks.

The spokesman says their office is "in a holding pattern'' and waiting to see what Quinn does. 

Connection To Pension Gridlock?

The bill also contains spending for lawmaker salaries. A special committee of lawmakers is trying to find a solution to the state's pension crisis, and some observers wonder whether the governor might veto the budget bill because the panel will not meet today's deadline issued by Quinn.

The committee, which was requested by the governor, met for the third time Monday. It asked for information related to a pension overhaul plan supported by public universities in Illinois.

Despite missing the deadline, panel members say they've made progress. Republican Senator Bill Brady of Bloomington, who's running to replace Quinn, admits the process is working.

"I do believe in all of my involvement  over the last couple years  that we have come as close in a bipartisan, bicameral way amongst ourselves of getting toward a solution" Brady said.

But lawmakers say it could all be undermined if Quinn makes good on his vague threat of "consequences" if they don't get a final package to his desk by the end of Tuesday.