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May 26, 2016

Ill. First Lady’s Charity Joins Budget Suit Against Governor

An education nonprofit headed by Diana Rauner, the wife of Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, has joined a coalition of charities suing her husband’s administration over failure to pay off state human-service contracts, according to Crain’s Chicago Business. Ms. Rauner is the president of the Ounce of Prevention Fund, which focuses on early-childhood learning and is one of 18 new plaintiffs listed in an amended complaint filed Wednesday by Pay Now Illinois.

More than 60 Illinois human-service nonprofits were already part the coalition when it filed suit in early May. Pay Now Illinois says its members are collectively owed $130 million for programs and services they have provided under contracts that the state has enforced despite Mr. Rauner’s veto of spending bills to fund them. The Republican governor and the Democrat-controlled legislature have been embroiled in a nearly yearlong fight over the state budget. A first hearing on the suit is scheduled for September 1.

Ounce of Prevention received $15.3 million from the state in fiscal year 2015, about 22 percent of its budget.