Gov. Bruce Rauner says making an emergency appropriation for state employee pay is a ruse to force a massive tax hike. Instead, he supports giving state employee pay the same status as lawmakers and constitutional officers.
Whether state employees can get a paycheck if there’s no budget is being forced in the courts by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan. That prompted two bills in the House. One from the Democrats would make state employee pay emergency appropriation through the end of this fiscal year.
Rauner told state employees in a video Thursday that Speaker Michael Madigan will use the measure as a solution if his daughter wins in court and state employees don’t get paid.
“But don’t be fooled,” he said. “It’s not a solution. It’s a crisis showdown set for June 30 when the Speaker will use the leverage of a forced shutdown to finally get the massive tax hike he recommended in December 2015.”
“I will veto the Speaker’s June 30 government shutdown proposal should it reach my desk,” Rauner said.
A spokesman for Speaker Madigan denied comment.
Instead, Rauner urged lawmakers to pass a GOP measure that would keep paychecks flowing even if there isn’t a budget.
“Give state employees the same rights as the Speaker, rank and file legislators and the Attorney General herself,” he said. “Give state employees permanent, continuing appropriation for their pay, just like the legislators gave themselves.”
A house committee passed the Democrat plan this week, clearing it for a vote on the House floor. The GOP plan remains in committee.