Illinois

WUIS

Illinois's high court has been asked to decide once and for all whether Illinois can pay government workers when there's no state budget.

Despite the budget impasse, state employees are getting their paychecks for July. The Comptroller's office says that's thanks to a decision from a St. Clair County judge.

But a Cook County judge had the opposite take, and ruled that without a budget, Illinois loses authority to pay all workers.

Carl Nelson/WNIJ

Although the Illinois state budget for Fiscal Year 2016 still has not been decided, Gov. Bruce Rauner did take action on 24 pieces of legislation last Friday.

The news release from his office, however, provided absolutely no real information about what he had approved. Here is one example of how the “information” provided by the Gov. Rauner’s press office was sent out:

Bill No.: SB 38
An Act Concerning Employment
Action: Signed     
Effective: January 1, 2016

Illinois Public Radio

The legal dispute continues this week over what Illinois state workers should be paid.

It’s the latest issue to be caught in the wide-ranging web of consequences resulting from having no state budget.

While dozens of human service providers are left hanging in the wind -- unsure what kind of state support they’ll get -- state employees find themselves in a similar boat. Last week, a Cook County judge said employees shouldn’t get a salary since the state doesn’t have a spending plan.

An appeal to that ruling is quickly moving forward.

Flickr user woodleywonderworks / "police trooper writing a ticket" (CC BY 2.0)

Police could soon be forced to hand out documentation when they stop someone. 

Members of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus say they have heard from constituents who claim they are repeatedly stopped by authorities. In some cases, more than once per day.

The lawmakers’ response is a plan to require officers hand out what are called “stop receipts.”

Representative Mary Flowers, a Democrat from Chicago, supports the idea:

Flickr user 401(K) 2012 / "Money" (CC v. 2.0)

A published report says roughly one-third of Republican legislators haven't cashed checks given to them from Gov. Bruce Rauner's campaign fund in the waning days of the legislative session.

The first-term Republican gave about $400,000 to all 67 Republican House and Senate members in May. Several Republicans say they felt it was inappropriate while issues were being debated.

The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises reports that as of last week 22 lawmakers hadn't cashed the checks totaling about $119,000.

Illinois Issues / WUIS

Even as Gov. Bruce Rauner pushes for legislators to authorize a new way of drawing the state’s political map, a citizen-driven initiative is underway.

As part of the bargain Rauner is trying to make with Democrats, he wants the legislature to agree to give up control for drawing district boundaries.

Cindi Canary isn’t waiting around.

Flickr user Pictures of Money / "Money" (CC BY 2.0)

A Cook County judge ruled this week most Illinois state workers may not get their paychecks if the state budget gridlock continues. But that might not include university workers.

Al Phillips, who is the vice president of finance and administration at Northern Illinois University, says NIU employees technically don't work for a state agency and might not be subject to the ruling.

"As a public university, while we receive funding from the state, the comptroller does not send out the monthly paychecks to our employees," Phillips said.

House Approves Temporary Budget; Senate OK Needed

Jul 9, 2015
state of Illinois

A stopgap Illinois budget padded with guaranteed state-employee paychecks for July has won House approval, but the change delays its delivery to the governor.  

The $2.3 billion plan that Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner opposes was endorsed 71-19 Thursday.

The previous version included just emergency expenses, so the current bill must return to the Senate for concurrence because of the pay provision. The Senate is not scheduled to convene until 4 p.m. next Tuesday.

Rockford Police Department

Two Rockford police officers are patrolling the streets again after being on administrative duty for three months.

Nicholas Alejo and Andrew Seale were cleared of any wrongdoing after shooting an armed suspect in the leg during a March 30 incident. Both returned to work Sunday.

The Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s office says the force used against Joshua Schweig was warranted. State's Attorney Joe Bruscato determined no criminal charges against the officers are necessary.

Flickr user Daniel Borman / "Money, Money, Money" (CC BY 2.0)

Several attorneys are vowing to appeal a judge’s decision that would force the state to pay Illinois workers minimum wage instead of their normal salary.

A Cook County judge ruled that if state lawmakers can’t agree on a spending plan - then the person who signs the paychecks lacks the authority to do her job.

That would be Comptroller Leslie Munger, and her office is appealing the ruling.

The agency that processes pay says it’ll take up to a year to change all the employees’ salaries in the state’s outdated computer accounting systems.

Pages