Illinois State Fair workers paid $1.5M for last year’s event

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The stopgap budget that’s keeping Illinois finances flowing has helped this year’s Illinois State Fair workers after many were left unpaid last year.

The Chicago Tribune reports that the $1.5 million in payments started coming in shortly before this year’s fair started last week and as Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner tries to put a greater emphasis on the annual agriculture celebration.

Last year, more than 850 vendors who do tasks such as providing first aid, judging sheep shearing, shooting off fireworks and running the tractor pull contest weren’t paid. The stopgap budget means vendors are scheduled to be paid on time this year.

Illinois’ financial issues still persist with $111 billion in unfunded government worker pension liabilities and a backlog of bills expected to hit $10 billion in December.