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May 05, 2016

Ill. Human-Service Groups Sue Governor Over Unpaid Bills

Dozens of Illinois social- and human-service providers filed suit Wednesday against Gov. Bruce Rauner and members of his administration over the state’s failure to pay them throughout a budget impasse now in its 10th month, writes the Chicago Tribune. The 64 organizations in the Pay Now Illinois coalition say they are collectively owed more than $100 million for providing youth, mental-health, and other programs under contracts the state has enforced during the stalemate.

Illinois has been without a spending plan since July. The Republican governor vetoed the bulk of a budget sent to him by the Democrat-led legislature, including appropriations bills covering some taxpayer-funded social services. The plaintiffs are asking a Cook County Circuit Court judge to rule that the veto impairs their contractual rights under Illinois Constitution.

A Rauner spokeswoman said governor understands that “frustration is driving many worthwhile organizations to seek solutions anywhere, including the courts,” but that “the only solution is for the General Assembly to pass a balanced, reform-oriented budget as soon as possible."