From Illinois Business Journal news services
CHICAGO – Attorney General Lisa Madigan has gone to Cook County Circuit Court, seeking an order clarifying that the state can continue to make legally authorized payments to fund critical government services in a timely manner.
Without a state budget in place, the Illinois Constitution and laws significantly limit the payments that the state can make. In preparation for the start of the new fiscal year, Madigan has been working with Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger to determine what payments can continue without a state budget in place. Based on those preparations, Madigan says this action seeks clear court approval for the comptroller to make payments that do not legally require an appropriation by the Legislature, including payments authorized by specific state statutes, payments for services required under court consent decrees and payments to continue participating in federal programs.
These payments help fund critical government services, such as medical care for children in foster care, residential placements for mentally disabled individuals, food assistance for low-income families, and the operation of the state hotline to report child abuse and neglect.
The action also asks the court to clarify the state’s obligation to comply with the federal Fair Labor Standards Act by paying state employees the federal minimum wage until a budget is enacted and they can receive their full paychecks.
“The Illinois Constitution clearly states that without a budget, the state’s authority to fund government operations and services is severely limited,” Madigan said in a statement. “I am bringing this action to ensure that legally supported expenditures can continue to be made and to address the question of how the state payroll is legally managed during the budget impasse.”