Bill to provide back wages to state workers moves to Illinois Senate

SPRINGFIELD (AP) – Legislation to provide $63 million in back wages owed to state workers is heading to the Illinois Senate.

The Senate executive committee approved the measure on a voice vote Wednesday. The House passed it last month.

The money is for raises that then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich approved for unionized workers in 2011. Former Gov. Pat Quinn later reneged on the raises, saying the Legislature hadn’t appropriated enough money.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees sued, and a judge ruled the state had to pay.

Some wages have been turned over. But about 24,000 workers still are owed money.

The legislation comes as Illinois faces a roughly $6 billion budget deficit.

Gov. Bruce Rauner’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.