BELLEVILLE — An Illinois judge has denied a request by the attorney general to stop paying state workers unless lawmakers resolve the state’s budget impasse.
St. Clair County Circuit Judge Robert LeChien on Thursday refused to reverse a previous court order requiring Illinois to pay state employees in the absence of a spending plan.
Attorney General Lisa Madigan argued stopping pay is constitutional and will hasten a budget agreement.
Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner has criticized Madigan’s legal move, suggesting the daughter of House Speaker Michael Madigan wanted to create a “crisis” that would shut down the government.
Both Democrats and Republicans in the Illinois House say worker paychecks, which total about $400 million monthly, should continue.
Without a budget in place, social service agencies, higher education and other programs have suffered.