* From a blast e-mail…
FROM: Governor Bruce Rauner
TO: All State Employees
As we approach the end of the fiscal year, I wanted to update you on the status of our negotiations with the General Assembly and review some key points about the possibility of entering the new fiscal year without a budget.
Last week, I vetoed 19 budget bills that together would have created an unprecedented and unconstitutional $4 billion hole in our state budget. Soon after, I proposed a compromise to the leaders of the General Assembly - a reasonable way forward to much-needed reform and a balanced budget.
As of today, we have not received a response to our compromise proposals. Rather than coming to a bipartisan, common-sense agreement, the leaders of the General Assembly appear resolved to enter the new fiscal year without a budget. While our administration will continue to work diligently toward a compromise agreement, we are prepared to manage state government without a budget.
Starting Wednesday, if there is no state budget in law, here are some key points to keep in mind:
· State employees will be paid for their work - and I will do everything within my power to ensure you don’t miss a single payroll. Our lawyers are working hard to ensure that all employees will be paid on their scheduled pay dates. The precedent already exists. This is the right thing to do and I will work with union leaders to fight any legal attempts to overturn existing precedent. If certain parties take action to temporarily block pay for state employees, we will explore every option, including asking local financial institutions to extend temporary bridge loans to employees. Credit Union1, for example, has already agreed to offer no-interest loans for qualifying members of the credit union should salary payments for state employees be delayed.
· All state employees must come to work according to their normal work schedules. Except for certain administrative steps announced by the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget, most state services should continue.
· The expiration of the state’s collective bargaining agreements on June 30th is not connected to the budget. There is no lockout and there is no strike. The state has reached a temporary agreement to continue negotiating with state employee unions for another 31 days. That means all union employees should continue to report to work even though there is no current collective bargaining agreement in place.
· Services provided pursuant to federal consent decrees should continue without interruption. If there are any questions or concerns about consent decree service vendors being paid without a state budget in place, please contact the Governor’s Office of General Counsel.
· Payments to other vendors that still have contracts, however, are likely to be delayed. Most vendors cannot be paid until a budget has been passed and appropriations authorize the Comptroller to pay their bills. For specific questions or concerns about communicating with vendors, please contact the Governor’s Office of General Counsel.
I am deeply thankful for your continued commitment to serve the people of Illinois. Our citizens depend on you every day and I know you will not let them down - even if we enter the new fiscal year without a budget.
Very truly yours,
This could put the attorney general in an awkward position. We’ll see.