Pay Now Illinois

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Pay Now Illinois?
  • The Pay Now Illinois coalition is made up of human and social service agencies and companies serving men, women and children throughout the State of Illinois who have been providing services under contracts to the State but have not been paid since the start of Fiscal Year 2017. The coalition members provide a broad range of essential services, including healthcare, housing for the homeless, domestic violence, and programs for at-risk youth. Pay Now Illinois is suing state officials in the Circuit Court of St. Clair County seeking back payment. A list of plaintiffs in the Pay Now Illinois coalition can be found here

Who are you suing?
  • Our suit is against Governor Bruce Rauner, Comptroller Susanna Mendoza and the directors of three statewide agencies – the Department of Human Services, the Illinois Department on Aging, and the Illinois Department of Corrections – seeking immediate payment in full for services we have delivered for fiscal year 2017 that began July 1, 2016.

Why are you suing the State?
  • Social service agencies, in good faith, signed contracts with State departments to provide services. We are suing to uphold the integrity of our contracts with the State of Illinois, which will make Illinois a better place to do business.
  • We are asking to be paid for services that have been delivered undercontracts. We have been upholding our obligations since the budgetimpasse began on July 1, 2015, and continue to do so to the best of our ability. But the ongoing impasse has strained our resources, forcedlayoffs, program closures and restrictions, damaged relationships with clients and communities, and placed the State’s human services infrastructure at risk. 
  • By going without payment, we are forced into financing state government operations. We have become the State’s creditor and that is not our mission. This is NOT good business. It’s the equivalent of the State having its cake and eating it too.  Essentially, the state is getting services for free. Illinois needs to pay its bills on time so service providers and companies will want to do business here.

Why are you filing this suit now?
  • The original Pay Now Illinois suit, filed in May 2016, was focused on FY16 contracts. Many agencies received partial or full payment for Fiscal Year 2016 contracts under the stop-gap budget agreement, PA 99-524, which expired on Dec. 31, 2016. We are filing in FY17 because the impasse is not resolved. We continue to deliver services without pay for FY 2017 in the absence of a statewide budget. By filing this suit, we ensure that providers have a way to protect their FY17 contracts as well. 

Why is Pay Now Illinois filing in St. Clair County?
  • The Circuit Court in St. Clair County already has imposed a preliminary injunction requiring state employees to be paid in accordance with their contract. We believe that sets a precedent for our filing. If the Court believes that State workers should be paid, then shouldn’t contract workers for the state also be paid?

Is this action tied to the recent filing by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan seeking to dissolve the injunction? 
  • We always intended to file a suit for FY17 if the stop-gap was allowed to expire in order to protect our FY17 contracts. We are asking the court to uphold the constitutional prohibition on the impairment of contracts so that agencies providing vital services will be paid. If the courts agree with us, then we should be paid alongside state workers. 

What is the status of earlier Pay Now Illinois lawsuits?
  • We are appealing the August 31 decision by the Circuit Court of Cook County to dismiss the Pay Now Illinois lawsuit against the Governor, Comptroller, and seven state department heads. The case is now before the First District of the Illinois Appellate Court.  Click here to read the Appellants' Brief filed on December 20, 2016. 

What is the amount of unpaid bills owed to the plaintiffs?
  • The amount of unpaid bills grows every day that we aren’t paid.  As you can imagine, the dollar amounts are not static, and it will change as more plaintiffs join the suit, which is our expectation.  What we know is that all contract workers in Illinois are living with tremendous uncertainty about getting paid. And that is no way to run a business.  Or, a State.
  • Some of our plaintiffs still have outstanding invoices from fiscal year 2016. Some plaintiffs have received partial payments and some full payments.  For some service providers, efforts to be paid under the Stop Gap were too late – they had already laid off staff, cut services, shut down programs and lost clients. These things are not quickly put back into place. 

Why aren't we filing a class action suit?
  • The simple answer is that a class action suit would take too long. The agencies and companies that are part of Pay Now Illinois are seeking full payment for work that has been delivered since the start of the fiscal year.
Why aren't we going to the Court of Claims?
  • The problems with that course of action are many, but a key issue, again, is time - it could take years. Plus, it could require a new appropriation to pay out what is owed.

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