News Local/State

Rauner, Democrats Want State Employees Paid — But Can’t Agree How

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner.

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. Brian Mackey / WUIS

Legislation to keep Illinois government functioning without a full budget stalled Thursday. 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.

Shortly after that, Gov. Bruce Rauner came out with a video saying how terrible it was that Democrats put an end date on their bill.

“It’s not a solution," Rauner says in the video. "It’s a crisis showdown set for June 30th."

The Democratic plan is being sponsored by Rep. Sue Scherer, from Decatur.

“I really can’t figure out what the governor and the members on the Republican side are opposed to it," Scherer says. "It’s following the Constitution, it’s appropriating money the way we’re supposed to do it."

State employees have been paid by court order for all 19 months (and counting) of the budget stalemate.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan has asked a judge to reconsider that order. Supporters of her move hope that by forcing state workers off the job, it might be just the push Rauner and Democrats need to finally pass a budget.