SPRINGFIELD -- Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan isn't about to let a little thing like a budget impasse grind the gears of the government's legal work.
Democrat Madigan said Monday that her office's employees will all report to work tomorrow, Aug. 1, with or without an agreed state budget tonight, Gatehouse News Service (GNS) reported. The state of Illinois has enough money to operate normally until Aug. 8.
Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn, Secretary of State Jesse White and Comptroller Dan Hynes, also Democrats, made similar commitments Monday that workers would show up for work tomorrow and keep offices running.
A temporary Illinois budget is set to expire at midnight tonight but Gov. Rod Blagojevich has "contingency plans" if the legislature can't pass another budget by then. State lawmakers couldn't finalize a budget by July 1 and resorted to a stop-gap while hammering out differences.
"The reality is that the state can operate and should operate without disruption until Aug. 8," Hynes told GNS. "On that day it won't be an arbitrary deadline, it will be a deadline that hurts people."
Especially people employed in Illinois executive offices like Madigan's. Some 4,900 employees who work for her as well as Quinn, White, Hynes and Blagojevich won't get their paychecks if a budget isn't okayed by Aug. 8.
The state also will miss some $170 million in school aid payment if no budget emerges then. But Prairie State retirees, welfare-recipients and bond-holders will all get their checks on schedule, Hynes promised.