News Local/State

Money For Secretary Of State’s Office Keeps Lights On

Jesse White

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White Illinois Public Media

A stopgap spending plan will keep the lights on at motor services facilities in Illinois. The bipartisan measure passed the House on Wednesday, and the Senate's headed to Springfield on Monday to vote on it. 

When you renew your drivers' license your local Secretary of State's office, the building is likely leased.  Because of the budget impasse, Illinois hasn't paid its rent checks, electric or water bills since July.

Department spokesman Dave Druker says most landlords have been patient, but one landlord was close to kicking the state out, and one utility sent a shutoff notice.

"These are folks that are in business," he said, "and they've honorably entered into contracts with us, and we hope they can be paid as soon as possible."

The Secretary of State will receive $10 million from the compromise plan.  Druker says his office will not resume sending license plate renewals by mail.  It stopped in September, when money for postage ran out.

"We thought paying the landlords and utilities rated as a higher priority," Druker said.

Motorists can check the expiration of their license plate stickers and renew them online at