Illinois lawmakers sue to get paid despite state budget mess

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Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger in Moline (WQAD Photo by John David)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Half-a-dozen state representatives have sued the Illinois comptroller for holding up their paychecks during the state budget mess.

The Democratic lawmakers filed a lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court on Friday, Dec. 2, demanding that Republican Comptroller Leslie Munger and Gov. Bruce Rauner “end unwarranted political pressure.”

In April, Munger began putting paychecks for the governor and lawmakers in line and pays them like other vendors’ overdue bills get paid.

“Illinois has now gone 17 months without a budget in place. Lawmakers were in Springfield for three days this week yet once again failed to get the job done. If those lawmakers spent as much time and energy on passing a comprehensive balanced budget as they have on filing lawsuits and getting their own paychecks, Illinois would be in a better place,” Munger said in response to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit was filed by Democratic representatives Emanuel “Chris” Welch of Hillside, Kate Cloonen of Kankakee, Lisa Hernandez of Cicero along with Chicagoans Mary Flowers, Sonya Harper and Silvan Tabares.

Munger was appointed in 2014 to fill a vacancy but lost election last month to Democrat Susana Mendoza. Mendoza has pledged to continue withholding pay.