Cook County judge dismisses social service providers lawsuit

CHICAGO (AP) — A judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought by social service providers who wanted the court to force payment on contracts with the state.

WBEZ in Chicago reports Cook County Judge Rodolfo Garcia tossed the lawsuit after oral arguments Wednesday, saying the issue belongs in a higher court.

Nearly 100 social service providers sued in May over fallout from the state’s unprecedented budget stalemate. They argue that the state breached its service contracts and they’re owed roughly $160 million. The lawsuit names Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and the heads of state agencies.

The groups in the lawsuit include the early education Ounce of Prevention Fund, which is run by Rauner’s wife, Diana Rauner.

Illinois Pay Now Coalition spokeswoman Andi Durbin says they’ll consider an appeal.

Gov. Rauner’s spokeswoman declined comment.