A St. Clair County judge has ordered the Illinois comptroller to fully pay state workers despite the ongoing budget stalemate.
Circuit Judge Robert LeChien sided Thursday with 13 public employee unions that sued Comptroller Leslie Munger.
Attorney General Lisa Madigan argued lawmakers and Gov. Bruce Rauner had to first approve a spending plan for the new fiscal year. Madigan plans to appeal this decision after an earlier ruling in Cook County this week.
That judge's decision stated Munger may pay only some workers covered under federal minimum wage laws. That decision is being appealed by Munger and the unions.
Munger said Thursday's ruling gives her authorization to process payroll.
"Today's Court ruling gives my office the authorization it needs to begin processing payroll for all state employees," said Munger. "It is a welcome development that advances my goal of complying with federal mandate and doing everything in my power under law to compensate workers for the services they are already providing the state. It also ensures that Illinois will rightly continue to pay those who are on the front line in assisting our most vulnerable residents. While there will most certainly be additional legal action, I am confident that the Court will ultimately determine that paying state employees for their work is the right, and legal, thing to do."
Madigan's office said both rulings make it clear a court battle will be ongoing.