* Sen. Bill Brady and other Republicans have joined with House Speaker Michael Madigan to oppose appropriating money during the veto session to fund some state employee pay raises going back to 2011. Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, however, believes the money should be allocated…
“I think you’ll probably have to have a supplemental appropriation,” Topinka said at a Springfield news conference. “I don’t know how else you do it. Where else are you going to get the money? It’s not like it’s lying around. I don’t have bags of it sitting around the office.” […]
That includes $112 million needed to pay back wages — plus 7 percent interest — to about 25,000 union workers who were denied raises they were due under their previous labor agreement. Quinn suspended the raises, saying lawmakers did not approve money to pay them. The issue was taken to court, and a judge sided with the unions and said the state had to honor the back wages with interest. […]
House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, has balked at the idea of approving a supplemental budget to pay the wages. He has said agencies should cover the back wages out of the spending plan approved by lawmakers in May.
Keep in mind that the fiscal year revenue forecast has been revised upward by about $360 million.
* The Question: Should the General Assembly vote to appropriate $112 million plus interest to fund the back pay, or should agencies be told to find the money within their own budgets and the $112 million+ be used to pay off other old bills? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.