State lawmakers and officeholders will have to wait to receive their monthly paychecks under a change announced Sunday by Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger.
As the Illinois budget impasse continues into its tenth month, a number of vendors, agencies and others have seen delayed payments from the state.
"Legislators and constitutional officers will be treated the same as all other government payments and delayed due to the state's $7.8 billion bill backlog," according to Munger's office.
Munger, appointed by Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, said salaries for Illinois lawmakers and statewide officials cost $1.3 million a month. Their paychecks will be processed monthly, but the payments will not be released until funds are available. The paychecks could be delayed for at least two months.
"Our social service network is being dismantled, mass layoffs are occurring and small businesses across Illinois are awaiting payments for services they've already provided," Munger said. "As our cash crunch grows in the coming months, it is only appropriate that the unfair prioritization of payments to elected leaders ends. We are all in this together, we all will wait in line."
Rauner and Democratic legislative leaders have been at odds over a state budget that should have taken effect July 1. The governor wants items on his pro-business, anti-union policy agenda approved as part of the budget process. Democrats oppose the governor's anti-union proposals and say his policy agenda should be considered separate from the budget.
Chicago City Clerk Susana Mendoza is the Democratic nominee for Illinois comptroller. She issued a statement in response to Munger's move on legislative pay.
"Like everything else that's broken in Springfield, Comptroller Munger's suggestion is 10 months late and many dollars short," Mendoza said. "Yes, we should not pay elected officials where possible before paying more urgent bills, but when is Comptroller Munger going to stand up to Governor Rauner and demand an end to his extreme agenda and pass a budget?"