SPRINGFIELD — Illinois’ budget gap could begin affecting the paychecks of state prison workers in the next few weeks, including those at a local correctional center.
According to the Illinois Comptroller’s office, at least five of the state’s more than two dozen prisons do not have enough money to make payroll through the end of this year’s budget.
An analysis by the Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers shows prisons that will run short of cash include facilities in Vandalia, Jacksonville, Taylorville, Mount Sterling, and Sumner.
According to the analysis,Vandalia’s minimum-security facility only has $6.1 million remaining in its payroll budget, with an estimated $7.3 needed to pay staff through the June 30 end of the current budget.
The minimum-security facility in Taylorville is in a similar situation, running an estimated $1.2 million short of payroll heading into the final 100 days of the fiscal year.
According to the newspaper, the Department of Corrections confirms its figures, which said employees at Vandalia, Taylorville and Western Illinois Correctional Center in Mount Sterling will be the first to be impacted by the funding shortage.
The Illinois Department of Corrections is estimating the payroll shortage at over $70 million. But that isn’t the only shortfall the state is facing, as funding for a subsidized child care program and payroll for court reporters are also running short after the temporary income tax increase expired January 1.
Senate Democrats have offered the Governor the option of sweeping money from multiple special state funds to help bridge the funding gap, but the plan has stagnated for a lack of action.
Rauner has stated that he wants a more comprehensive solution that would address the overall $1.6 billion shortage.