State Employees

Nati Harnik / AP

Illinois anti-abortion groups were back in a Springfield courtroom today ... arguing against the new state law allowing for taxpayer-funded abortions.

They’re asking the Fourth District Appellate Court to overturn a trial judge’s dismissal of their case last year.

State Representative Peter Breen, a Lombard Republican and lawyer for the plaintiffs, says this goes beyond abortion. He says his case is really about the procedures the state legislature follows when passing a budget.

A long-fought battle between state government and the AFSCME union came to the forefront again Thursday.  State government workers from the union rallied at the capitol to call for periodic raises they say the state owes them.

Roberta Lynch, AFSCME’s Executive Director in Illinois, says even though the state Supreme Court sided with the union, workers have yet to see the money.

The House has approved legislation to revamp the workers' compensation system and pension programs and to make it easier for superfluous units of local government to be consolidated or eliminated.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration say they're working out bugs on a $94 million online portal that allows state employees to choose health care options. 

The Illinois Senate unanimously passed legislation today intended to help dentists who’ve been affected by the budget stalemate. Many dentists who treat state employees have not been getting paid for their work.  They’re part of a long list of businesses and institutions waiting to be reimbursed for work they’ve already done.  

Governor Bruce Rauner was asked Friday why he’s changed his position on an abortion law since the 2014 campaign.

An abortion-rights group says Gov. Bruce Rauner broke a campaign promise when he pledged last week to veto legislation to expand coverage for abortion and ensure the procedure remains legal in Illinois.
Personal PAC on Wednesday made public a questionnaire the Republican completed as a candidate for governor in 2014.
In it, Rauner said that if elected he would sign legislation to ensure access to abortion if federal law allowing it is overturned. Rauner also said Illinois should cover abortions for state employees and Medicaid recipients.

Gov. Bruce Rauner's office arranged to pay half of the salary for the political ally he hired last month from an employee health care account that is $4 billion-dollars behind on paying bills.  Republican Leslie Munger is one of Rauner's deputy governors. Half her $138,000 salary is set to come from health insurance premiums paid by state employees.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan is taking her case over state employee pay to the Illinois Supreme Court.

Madigan is asking the justices to review a lower court order that’s kept state workers getting paid during the 20-month budget stalemate.

She says the order has enabled Gov. Bruce Rauner and the General Assembly to shirk their constitutional  obligation, avoiding tough decisions about state spending.

A judge has ruled that the Illinois state comptroller may direct which accounts should be used to pay state employees.  

Democratic Comptroller Susana Mendoza reported yesterday that St. Clair County Circuit Judge Robert LeChien ruled against Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner. She may decide how to pay 600 employees.

Rauner wanted the Department of Central Management Services workers paid from general revenue. But there's a two-year budget stalemate and no appropriations for that fund.

A St. Clair County judge has denied Attorney General Lisa Madigan's motion to halt state employee pay in the absence of a complete state budget. Illinois has gone nearly 20 months without the governor and General Assembly coming together to create a full, balanced spending plan. It means state employees will continue to be paid as legislators and the governor continue their fight over how to pay for Illinois government.

Legislation to keep Illinois government functioning without a full budget stalled today in Springfield. Democrats and Republicans have dueling proposals to keep paychecks flowing to state employees.  The Democratic plan would pay state workers through the end of the budget year, June 30th.  The Republicans responded with a plan to pay state workers forever, even if Illinois never adopts a full budget.

A group of agencies and businesses that provides services to state government has opened a second front in the legal fight to get Illinois to pay billions in back-due bills. The Pay Now Illinois coalition filed a lawsuit in St. Clair County demanding state officials pay bills dating to July. 

A group of Republican lawmakers want to set up automatic payments to state workers. It would ensure Illinois’ employees get paid regardless of whether there’s a budget. 

Illinois lawmakers are preparing legislation to ensure that state employees continue receiving paychecks if a judge agrees with the attorney general's argument that their pay should be halted during the budget impasse.

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner’s administration is trying to convince state employees that a strike would be “reckless.”  About 30,000 state employees who belong to the union AFSCME are starting a 3-week-long process in which they’ll be voting on whether they should strike.  

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is asking a judge to tell state employees: No budget, no paycheck.

U of I Reviewing State Paycheck Halt

Jan 27, 2017

A court filing by Illinois’ Attorney General seeks to halt state worker paychecks by the end of February, and not let them resume until there’s agreement on a state budget. But it’s not yet clear if Thursday’s action would extend to University of Illinois employees.  

Illinois' new comptroller is making changes, just days after taking office.  State employees expecting a bonus will have to wait. 

Non-unionized employees were awarded bonuses this fall. That became a liability for Republican Comptroller Leslie Munger's campaign.

Munger at the time said she had no choice but to process them. Critics -- including Munger's then opponent, Democrat Susana Mendoza, pounced.

A state labor board has denied a request by Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration to bypass an administrative judge and expedite ruling on whether negotiations have stalled with Illinois' largest public workers' union.  
The decision means the contract negotiations case with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees will proceed as it has for months, with an administrative law judge. She'll give her recommendation to the board, possibly by November.
 Illinois Labor Relations Board members, appointed by the governor, voted unanimously Thursday.

Illinois House Democrats failed to overturn a veto from Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner on a bill that would let an arbitrator settle state-employee wages and working conditions if union negotiations stall. 

Illinois workers get an added bonus once they retire: They don't have to pay taxes on pension or Social Security checks. It's one possible change the state could look to as it hunts for more money.

Illinois is a rare state that taxes income on a regular paycheck, but not on retirement.

Fiscal experts like the non-partisan Civic Federation say as Illinois' population ages, and there are more seniors, the government will increasingly lose out on a source of revenue.

Members of the Illinois House today (FRI) voted 65 to 37 to set a floor for the number of state employees providing health care in state prisons.

Representative Greg Harris -- a Chicago Democrat -- says Illinois can't afford to reduce what is already inadequate health care.

AFSCME, the union representing nearly 40 thousand state employees, is planning to ask the Illinois Supreme Court to take another swing at an opinion justices issued last Thursday.

The decision says unless lawmakers specifically appropriate funding, the state does not have to pay out raises employees had been guaranteed in their contracts.  Workers are waiting on about 25-hundred-dollars each.

AFSCME spokesman Anders Lindall says the union will aim to show arguments that were overlooked or misapplied.

Union leaders say Governor Bruce Rauner's move to end negotiations with Illinois' largest state employees union is frustrating and capricious.

On Friday ... Rauner announced that he was seeking an impasse in talks with AFSCME after roughly a year of talks.
Public school teachers aren't directly affected.
But Dan Montgomery -- who heads the Illinois Federation of Teachers -- says some of its members do work for the state.
Mongtomery says it was a knock to labor, especially given that it happened heading into Martin Luther King weekend.

State-employee labor unions have filed a lawsuit to force Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration to pay medical claims for 146-thousand state workers and retirees under self-insurance programs. 

The effects of Illinois' lack of budget are being felt statewide, but the pain is especially acute in the seat of state government. 

The state of Illinois is a big employer in Springfield.  Which is why local banks were ready to offer loans when it was thought that the impasse would block paychecks for state workers.

Instead, court rulings mean employees are still getting paid.

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.

Legislation to provide $63 million in back wages owed to state workers is heading to the Illinois Senate.

Thousands of state employees are a step closer to receiving money they've been waiting on since 2011.