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Wed, 22 Feb 2017
State Contractors Deserve To Be Paid, Too
If the Governor and Judge Robert LeChien, Circuit Court Judge in St. Clair County, say state workers should be paid – they deserve to be paid – if they show up to work, we believe that Pay Now Illinois providers also deserve to be paid for the work they do in binding contracts.

Pay Now Illinois filed its lawsuit on February 9 seeking parity with state workers. Our new lawsuit seeks funding for agencies contracted to do work for the state in fiscal year 2017, which began in July and runs through June. If state workers continue to be paid for services they deliver, so, too, should state contractors, who care for some of the state's most vulnerable people. We filed in St. Clair County because precedent had been set there when it was decided that state workers should continue to be paid despite the lack of a state budget. It is not a level playing field if Illinois is paying one but not the other. The people of Illinois rely on state contractors much as they do state workers and the former should be guaranteed payment because they have existing contracts with the state. Our claims are just as – if not more – legally sound.

Last week, Judge LeChien denied a request by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan to dissolve the order previously won by AFSCME and twelve other unions representing state employees that ensured that state workers would continue to be paid on time and in full even in the absence of a state budget. The aim of the suit was to force a government shutdown if the judge ruled in Madigan’s favor – by ending payment to state employees – and push the Governor and law makers to get a budget deal done.

Our aim is to secure the integrity of our contracts and we are asking the court to require that our contracts be paid. Human service providers are important employers in our community, helping people achieve so they can give back to their community. Across the board, every day we delay a resolution to our budget crisis – and the paying of these contracts – every one of us who pays taxes in Illinois will have to pay more as our back log of bills continues to grow.

We look forward to having our case heard in this court.
Posted 13:18

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