Federal judge blasts Illinois for not making all ordered payments

CHICAGO (AP) — A federal judge in Chicago has scolded Illinois officials for not fully complying with her order that they pay providers of critical social services during an ongoing budget impasse.

Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman told state lawyers at a Wednesday hearing they had 48 hours to explain which providers have and haven’t been paid.

Coleman added she’s “very disappointed” the state missed a Friday deadline for certain payments and broached at least the possibility of holding the state in contempt.

A comptroller’s office attorney, John Stevens, cited cash flow issues.

Gov. Bruce Rauner and lawmakers can’t agree on a spending plan for the fiscal year that began July 1.

But Coleman says one shouldn’t “flout” a court order. Coleman says she understands the budgetary constraints but says human lives are at stake.