Rep. Bennett: Despite budget stalemate, state & university employees must be paid

As Illinois begins a new fiscal year this week with no state budget in place, State Representative Tom
Bennett has signed-on to legislation to ensure thousands of state and university employees will continue to receive their paychecks.

Governor Rauner last week vetoed the Democrats’ unconstitutional budget that was $4 billion out of balance. As Fiscal Year 2016 begins on July 1st the Governor and legislative Democrats remained deadlocked over spending and taxes. Without a budget in place by July 15th, the State will be unable to make payroll for employees in numerous agencies.

However, under a 2014 law passed by the Democrat-controlled General Assembly, lawmakers, legislative staff and judges will still receive their paychecks, with or without a new budget in place. Senate Bill 274 (P.A. 98-682) included a “continuing appropriation” for the salaries and operational expenses of legislators and judges.

“It’s just wrong that the party in control of the General Assembly last year made sure that they will get paid no matter what…but never mind about the thousands of hard working employees who need every single paycheck to make ends meet,” Representative Bennett said. “Budget or no budget, these employees are expected to report to work…they should also expect to be paid on time for their work.”

Representative Bennett is co-sponsoring House Bill 4235 which will include state employees and public university employees in the continuing appropriation law so that those employees would continue to receive paychecks in the event a new state budget is not in place by July 15.

“Simply put, this is about fairness. With or without a budget in place on the 15th, lawmakers will get paid and welfare checks will go out. State employees must be paid as well.”  Representative Bennett concluded.