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*** UPDATED x1 - Mendoza responds *** Munger to delay legislative pay

Sunday, Apr 17, 2016

[Comments are now open on this post.]

* Gov. Rauner obviously doesn’t need a paycheck and isn’t taking one. Lots of legislators do and are. So, this’ll go over well, I’m sure…

Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger on Sunday announced that compensation for Illinois’ General Assembly members and Constitutional Officers - herself included - will be treated the same as all other government payments and delayed due to the state’s $7.8 billion bill backlog.

Illinois is in its 10th month of operation without a budget in place, leaving the state to pay bills under a patchwork of Court Orders, Consent Decrees and statutory authorizations. As a result, the state is expected to dig $6.2 billion deeper in the hole this year, worsening its fiscal condition, exacerbating cash flow challenges and lengthening payment delays.

With families, social service organizations, schools and businesses waiting months on end for promised payments from the state, Munger said it is appropriate for elected leaders to face delays as well.

“Our social service network is being dismantled, mass layoffs are occurring and small businesses across Illinois are awaiting payments for services they’ve already provided,” Munger said. “As our cash crunch grows in the coming months, it is only appropriate that the unfair prioritization of payments to elected leaders ends. We are all in this together, we all will wait in line.”

Salaries for the state’s six Constitutional Officers and 177 General Assembly members total approximately $1.3 million a month, or $15.6 million annually. The elected leaders are customarily paid on the last day of the month. Munger noted that her office will still process the vouchers monthly, but the warrants will then wait in a queue with other payments before being released when cash is available.

State payments are currently delayed a minimum of two months, unless they are expedited due to severe hardship. That wait time is expected to grow in lower revenue months in the Summer and Fall.

“It is the right thing to do,” Munger said. “And if this action helps bring all sides together to pass a balanced budget and end this unnecessary and devastating hardship to our state, that is an added benefit.

“Illinois needs a balanced budget. It is well past time that we get it done.”

*** UPDATE ***  From her Democratic rival…

“Like everything else that’s broken in Springfield, Comptroller Munger’s suggestion is 10 months late and many dollars short. Yes, we should not pay elected officials where possible before paying more urgent bills, but when is Comptroller Munger going to stand up to Governor Rauner and demand an end to his extreme agenda and pass a budget?” -Susana Mendoza

- Posted by Rich Miller        

43 Comments
  1. - Gooner - Monday, Apr 18, 16 @ 9:15 am:

    While I agree with Munger, I also think it is time for Democrats to start playing hardball.

    They need to start holding hearings as to Rauner’s budget staff and consultants to find out what, if anything, Illinois received for a significant expenditure.

    We spent a lot of money, but so far nobody has submitted a balanced budget. We need to start asking why.


  2. - Huh? - Monday, Apr 18, 16 @ 9:19 am:

    Lawsuit in 5…4…3…


  3. - Team America - Monday, Apr 18, 16 @ 9:20 am:

    Interesting that Mendoza jumped right in with an affirmation of Munger’s strategy, which will be difficult to walk back when the rank and file of the General Assembly start whining about missing their paychecks. Moreover, it’s pretty weak for Mendoza to criticize Munger for not coming up with this idea sooner, when Mendoza certainly didn’t suggest this either.


  4. - wordslinger - Monday, Apr 18, 16 @ 9:26 am:

    Right out of the Quinn playbook. It’s not quite the Banana Republic stunt Quinn pulled, but it’s in the neighborhood.

    And it’s just as self-serving, an election-year pop, signifying nothing.

    I’m sure the Tribbies will applaud loudly. Quinn’s stunt was the only thing they ever liked from him.


  5. - walker - Monday, Apr 18, 16 @ 9:33 am:

    Plays well with the public. Won’t help solve anything.


  6. - Not It - Monday, Apr 18, 16 @ 9:41 am:

    You go, lady! You go!

    And this isn’t like Quinn’s stunt that refused legislators money they were owed, Munger is still paying them, just on the same schedule as everyone else.


  7. - Norseman - Monday, Apr 18, 16 @ 9:52 am:

    I smell a Rauner OODA loop. I suspect it’s a political response to the AG’s supposed move to stop worker pay.

    walker +1

    Gooner, I think it’s time to start looking at what bills have been paid. The oversight of this mangled mess of part approp, part continuing approp, and part court ordered spending has been lacking.


  8. - Thoughts Matter - Monday, Apr 18, 16 @ 9:59 am:

    Responses to this popped up on my Facebook. People assume all legislators are rich- not so. They assume they do nothing when the legislature has days off - not so. Even scarier- they think the staffs of all of them, including the constitutional officers - should also not get paid. I wonder if they understood that that would shut down state government? I have said before that should happen, but I understand the ramifications. Facebook trolls don’t.


  9. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Apr 18, 16 @ 10:00 am:

    There’s quite a bit to digest here…

    The move is very savvy.

    Unlike Quinn, this move is putting the pay, which will “happen” later in the que. It’s like Ace Rothstein submitting his license application, but then it goes all the way to the bottom of the pile.

    The pay isn’t being denied. The pay is being place, somewhere in the line it wasn’t before

    Couple “worries”…

    Does this make Comptroller Munger the end all “decider” (not that she wasn’t before, you can argue) and will pressure from those not receiving payment start their new argument “why doesn’t the Comptroller pay us next?”

    The Comptroller’s Office is already facing these questions, I can imagine, so that’s not too difficult to explain away, nor is it too difficult to find out what is being paid with transparency by the office and the continued probing via FOIAs as to who gets what when.

    I am very pleased that the Munger Crew is getting away from the legislative blame and tacting to “we are all in this together” take. The more “Comptroller” Munger looks, the less attaching her to Rauner can occur.

    This is what I meant by doing better, Munger Crew, so stay “here”. Be the Comptroller, it will pay huge dividens.

    Um, er, uh… Mendoza “Crew”?

    That is arguably the weakest, saddest, laziest response to come out of a campaign shop in a while.

    I can think of 2, maybe 3 more realistic and honest responses you could make, and they would at least sound engaged in the process.

    You can’t try to insert yourselves in the discussion of “what have you done for months” when as a Crew, y’all are Purposely Passive, Publicly, in the Process.

    Mendoza’s response makes the Rauner Word Jumble seem “smart and on point”.

    Mendoza Crew, If this is your “A Game”, play another game. I’d be embarrassed if “that was it”. It puts front and center that the Mendoza Crew, today, is not up to the challenge to taking on Munger, even when attaching Munger to Rauner.

    If this is a preview, Munger’s Crew will be running circles around Mendoza.

    Here’s a pro tip, Mendoza Crew…

    Unless you think you have a point to make, do make a point at looking Bush League. You impressed no one yesterday.

    Welp, we all will see how this plays but it’s pretty savvy as long as the Comptroller’s Office can continue to, as they have been, justifying where and who gets paid what and when.

    Mendoza Crew, do better or you will get steamrolled, no matter what you think you have going for yourselves…


  10. - Juice - Monday, Apr 18, 16 @ 10:02 am:

    “As our cash crunch grows in the coming months…”

    What is she talking about? The best revenue months of the fiscal year start in April, and continue until about July, and that’s when cash starts running severely short again. If you’re going to do this, do it when the cash is actually low, versus the day before you find yourself getting a couple billion dollars in a single day.


  11. - Independent Retiree Lawyer Journalist - Monday, Apr 18, 16 @ 10:17 am:

    As meaningful as continuing to pay Rauner’s wife’s six-figure chief of staff. /s


  12. - wordslinger - Monday, Apr 18, 16 @ 10:19 am:

    –And this isn’t like Quinn’s stunt that refused legislators money they were owed, Munger is still paying them, just on the same schedule as everyone else.–

    LOL, you’re really missing the point, which is not pay. That $1.3 million a month is oogats.

    Munger obviously couldn’t veto approp. bills for legislative pay, now could she? So she employed the only stunt available to her.

    The point for both was to bash the GA and seem above it all in an election year. That’s why Quinn pulled his stunt, that’s why Munger is pulling hers.


  13. - NIU Grad - Monday, Apr 18, 16 @ 10:24 am:

    I think this is the first I’ve heard from the Mendoza campaign all year…


  14. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Apr 18, 16 @ 10:27 am:

    This also includes the Constitutionals…

    It’s unquestionably not about the financial impact holding back $1.3 million a month to pay a bill off. It’s silly to think this is being done to pay more bills.

    The stunt is clearly trying to show the impact to all those being paid, as prescribed by the constitution, and saying “we all wait”, but no one is being denied.

    Is it constitutional? its not withholding pay, so is placing pay in an arbitrary que passing muster? We may find out.

    It’s savvy until everyone gets paid and some bills may not, arbitrarily in a que.

    We’ll see…


  15. - anon - Monday, Apr 18, 16 @ 10:34 am:

    ===Won’t help solve anything. ==

    It does put added pressure on those legislators who have no outside income and who are not independently wealthy. So McSweeney and Franks won’t miss their state checks, but some of their colleagues will. They may become less passive as a result.


  16. - A Jack - Monday, Apr 18, 16 @ 10:36 am:

    I consider this a political stunt. Interesting timing, right after the Democrats announcing a tax decrease for 99% of Illinois.

    If Mendoza was on the ball, she would have pointed out that this clearly puts Munger in the 1% camp, trying to force the turn around before the millionaire tax gets approved.


  17. - Louis G. Atsaves - Monday, Apr 18, 16 @ 10:45 am:

    Fun stuff. Let the GA and constitutional officers now go to court to demand immediate payment, while Lisa Madigan pushes for the rank-and-file workers to not get paid?

    Mendoza is on board with not paying the GA?

    Only in Illinois!


  18. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Apr 18, 16 @ 10:48 am:

    Oh - Louis G Atsaves -

    Lemme guess, Bruce Rauner thinks state workers are important and critical and should be paid, but also feels state workers make way too much, have too big of pensions, and that we need to shut down the state to get state workers in line?

    You put a think on that and get back to everyone, lol


  19. - Norseman - Monday, Apr 18, 16 @ 10:51 am:

    === Mendoza is on board with not paying the GA? ===

    Louis, read the post and not your Rauner talking points.


  20. - Annonin' - Monday, Apr 18, 16 @ 11:05 am:

    Scrolled through the comments quickly but it appears Wingman has bailed on the non budget issues the BigBrains have been pushin’
    Opps
    Can we start filin’ FOIs for emails and records on involces approved and rejected for VSI, invoices bought by the IFA, interagency loans, Banks payments to health insurers and any other mumbo jumbo Wingman has been part of since 6-1-15.
    Any thought bein’ given to the # of checks with auto deducts — child support, student loans, mortgages, etc. — and whether WingMan can sort that out? Guessin’ the answer is no and no


  21. - WhoKnew - Monday, Apr 18, 16 @ 11:11 am:

    Shades of Judy!

    May she RIP!

    Good Job!


  22. - John Gregory (ex-Illinois Radio Network) - Monday, Apr 18, 16 @ 11:12 am:

    This wasn’t legal when Quinn pulled a very similar move in 2013 over the lack of a pension bill. No one has explained how this is any different.

    It’ll score some points with the public, sure, but barely anyone remembered Quinn’s stunt a year later.


  23. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Apr 18, 16 @ 11:17 am:

    ===This wasn’t legal when Quinn pulled a very similar move in 2013 over the lack of a pension bill. No one has explained how this is any different.===

    Pat Quinn held up pay. No pay.

    Munger is saying, I’m going to issue pay as always, but constitutionals and legislative pay will be placed in the back if the line.

    The pay is IN the que, it’s going to be made… eventually.

    That’s the difference.


  24. - Louis G. Atsaves - Monday, Apr 18, 16 @ 11:24 am:

    I love posting here and getting immediate knee jerk responses to the contrary from the same old gang. Hey Willy, even you have to admit that Rauner fought pretty hard to keep those paychecks going of the rank and file workers.

    Actually, it is pretty amazing that State Government actually is still functioning without a budget after all this time.


  25. - RNUG - Monday, Apr 18, 16 @ 11:25 am:

    If someone sues, going to be interesting to find out if the courts consider pay delayed to be pay denied. But it would be a bad political move to sue …


  26. - Jimmy H - Monday, Apr 18, 16 @ 11:28 am:

    Seems like just a political move. Though if it helps, well then wonderful!


  27. - Dr X - Monday, Apr 18, 16 @ 11:31 am:

    How much living expenses can be paid out of campaign contributions? Will the Speaker set up a no interest loan program through selected banks?

    Will no income trump ideology? I doubt it.


  28. - NorsemanR - Monday, Apr 18, 16 @ 11:32 am:

    RNUG @ 11:26 +1


  29. - cover - Monday, Apr 18, 16 @ 11:33 am:

    = But it would be a bad political move to sue … =

    If you are a “safe” member, especially one who has little or no outside source of income, why not sue? You won’t face a real electoral test again for 2 years.


  30. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Apr 18, 16 @ 11:40 am:

    ===I love posting here and getting immediate knee jerk responses to the contrary from the same old gang.===

    Ever the victim, - Louis G Atsaves -

    Then of course you don’t reconcile how Rauner “fights” for state workers, feels it’s important state workers get paid, but state workers are overpaid, have pensions that are way too high and Rauner wants to shut down the state.

    You do know Rauner made clear, he felt shutting down the state might have to happen, encouraging it…

    ===Hey Willy, even you have to admit that Rauner fought pretty hard to keep those paychecks going of the rank and file workers.===

    Was that after the veto, by Rauner, to pay them, happened? LOL.

    Rauner was the Rauner Vetoes he controls?

    ===Actually, it is pretty amazing that State Government actually is still functioning without a budget after all this time.===

    That’s why Rauner wants judicial decrees and these pesky mandates to go away. Rauner was shocked he couldn’t destroy Illinois quicker, he’s amazed actually. Ask him.


  31. - Rich Miller - Monday, Apr 18, 16 @ 11:42 am:

    ===why not sue? You won’t face a real electoral test again for 2 years===

    They still have to live in their districts.


  32. - Honeybear - Monday, Apr 18, 16 @ 11:52 am:

    Okay OW, et al, learner question. How is Mungers actions being independent as opposed to a Raunerite move to pressure the DEMS with Raunerite collateral damage? I didn’t like not paying the legislators in 2013 and don’t like it now. I have to admit it was “artful” to pay them in due turn at the back of a line, but what if there is a case by a legislator for getting paid that is urgent? Then Munger is the one who decided who gets paid and who doesn’t which I don’t think (maybe I’m wrong, I’ll admit I don’t know) that with Legislators she can do that. It seems like a separation of powers issue. But I digress. I would like to understand how this move makes her independent as opposed to Rauner yanking a chain and Munger barking as told.


  33. - TinyDancer(FKA Sue) - Monday, Apr 18, 16 @ 12:16 pm:

    So, the future direction of the state now depends on who can hold out longer - governor 0.01% or the general assembly?


  34. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Apr 18, 16 @ 12:27 pm:

    ===How is Mungers actions being independent as opposed to a Raunerite move to pressure the DEMS with Raunerite collateral damage?===

    I never said it was “independent”, but what it IS is a constitutional choosing a path. Choosing a path doesn’t make it inherently independent.

    ===I didn’t like not paying the legislators in 2013 and don’t like it now.===

    It’s not that they’re not getting paid, as you note in your next sentence, they are now in the basic que. Completely different, structurally than Quinn, but a stunt no less, but it could take hold, legally(?)

    ===Then Munger is the one who decided who gets paid and who doesn’t…===

    That’s the only “wrinkle” that world worry me, if I were them, being labeled a “decider”, but, isn’t Munger already doing that with the court orders and Constitutional mandates already? So, what are we really quibbling about, Munger changing the que order?

    ===I would like to understand how this move makes her independent as opposed to Rauner yanking a chain and Munger barking as told.===

    Literally all this move is doing is highlighting the list of groups, organizations, and people waiting to get paid, and putting legislators in the “regular” line, including constitutionals.

    It’s not the independence that’s at play, it’s highlighting the state’s plight is the purpose.

    With resoect.


  35. - Anon - Monday, Apr 18, 16 @ 12:53 pm:

    Smart move by Munger and a really weak response from Mendoza. I translate her “…too little, too late…” response more along the lines of “…gee, I wish I’d thought of that, but I don’t know as much about how the office works…” Munger might just have solidified her position as front-runner even in this Presidential cycle.


  36. - Annonin' - Monday, Apr 18, 16 @ 1:05 pm:

    Apparently not content with the Sunday performance, Wingman is back out with the media today remindin’ them she is first noticin’ the 16 month disaster the BigBrains have created and the TurnAround is not a dance anyone should be doin’ to get the job done.
    BTW it should be noticed that the piled up pol paychecks will be eligible for some extra Prompt Payment cash — thanks for the raise WingMan.


  37. - Mama - Monday, Apr 18, 16 @ 1:44 pm:

    Did Rauner tell Mungers to delay the legislators’ pay checks? I have a hard time believing she made this decision on her own.


  38. - Mama - Monday, Apr 18, 16 @ 1:46 pm:

    Who will this payment delay hurt the most? (Dems or Reps?)


  39. - Dale Cooper - Monday, Apr 18, 16 @ 2:50 pm:

    == Did Rauner tell Mungers to delay the legislators’ pay checks? I have a hard time believing she made this decision on her own. ==

    I’d wonder if anybody in the Failure Rauner administration can make any decisions on their own or if they are always fed directives and scripts.


  40. - Gert Frobe - Monday, Apr 18, 16 @ 3:00 pm:

    Hoping this makes the Rs fold like a cheap BVR suit.


  41. - Ghost - Monday, Apr 18, 16 @ 4:34 pm:

    there pay is statutory, those other bill providers are not. should be interesting.


  42. - cannon649 - Monday, Apr 18, 16 @ 8:58 pm:

    I like Munger disclose.

    The dollars and the timing mean little but if all these folks start to get same treatment as dishing out maybe something positive can happen for the taxpayers.


  43. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Apr 18, 16 @ 10:50 pm:

    Speaking of BigBrains, they probably know that delayed payments of personal services vouchers are clearly not subject to the Prompt Payment Act, which covers payments for goods and services. Now if someone theoretically has a fat State “professional services” contract that goes in the pile, then that guy might make some money on interest.

    Reading the big red lawyer books is hard.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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