Hearing on consent decrees delves into budget blame

CHICAGO (AP) — An Illinois Senate hearing on payments to social service providers through court orders has delved more into finger pointing over why there isn’t a state budget.

The Democratic-controlled Legislature and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner are deadlocked over a July 1 fiscal year budget. However, much is being spent through court orders. Rauner’s budget office officials estimated Tuesday that $38.2 billion are “auto pilot expenditures.”

Democratic Sen. Daniel Biss called the hearing, inviting Comptroller Leslie Munger and Attorney General Lisa Madigan to testify. Neither attended, nor did Republican senators.

Democrats and Rauner administration officials clashed over who was the blame for the stalemate.

Munger’s office outlined in a letter that 13 consent decrees and two county court orders are directing money.

Munger’s office has been in court battles over provider payments.