Budget stalemate could soon affect local senior citizens

SPRINGFIELD — The state of Illinois has been operating without a budget five days now. That’s expected to continue for at least another three days as state legislators aren’t due back to Springfield until Wednesday.

Over the past several months, majority Democrat legislators have been battling it out with Illinois’ Governor Bruce Rauner over fundamental state budget issues including business and job growth, property tax, public official terms, and state pension reform.

While the time-line is unknown as to whether state facilities and programs will be halted, if state legislators agree on a budget soon certain programs could be state programs could be halted.

Funding to facilities and services that help elderly, disabled, and childcare programs for low income families could be cut off by August 1 and those facilities will be left to front the cost. Local senior citizens are informing us that the BCMW Meal Sites will close on July 24, if they don’t receive state funding by that time.

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner’s assured state workers that he’s doing his best to make sure they get paid. Rauner’s office has cut a deal with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31 that’s assured the public state employees will work through the end of July even though there’s no guarantee of a paycheck.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said it’s unconstitutional for state employees to be paid without a budget.
State comptroller Leslie Munger said government workers will not receive their July 15 paychecks if a budget isn’t in place. Munger is leaving that decision up to the courts.

House Speaker Michael Madigan has proposed a month long plan to keep essential state services funded while legislators talk-budget; but the governor has repeatedly said he won’t agree to a deal like that.

The Governor said at the beginning nearly a month ago that the five state museums would be shut down if a budget wasn’t passed by July 1.

According to the Secretary of State Jesse White’s Office spokesperson Dave Druker, offices are expected to operate as normal for as long as possible.