State workers get paychecks, despite lack of a budget

Jul 13, 2015

Despite uncertainty bred from dueling court rulings ... Illinois' Comptroller is issuing paychecks to state employees.  It's a continued issue, as Illinois has been without a spending plan since the start of the month.

First, a Cook County judge said that without a state budget, Illinois lacks authority to pay all of its employees. An appellate court actually stayed that decision.

Then came a ruling from a St. Clair County judge, who says not paying union workers would be a breach of contract. A different legal question, a different judge  ... a different -- and opposite -- outcome.

Republican Comptroller Leslie Munger says that's her cue to issue paychecks. Her office confirms that it has finished processing the first round of payroll, for around 6,800 employees, who'll paid by Wednesday. Some workers say they've already seen deposits show up in their bank accounts.

But government employees may not want to go on a spending spree just yet: further court action is possible, and there are few signs of the budget stalemate thawing.

The comptroller's office wasn't immediately available for comment, nor was the attorney general's.