SPRINGFIELD – Responding to Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s announcement that she will seek to lift the court order that mandates payment of state employees, State Senator Linda Holmes (D- Aurora) expressed her own frustration at the state’s lack of a budget.

“It seems that Governor Rauner, who made $188 million last year, does not understand the devastating impact that his decisions have on the people of Illinois,” Holmes said. “Instead of governing, he has waged an endless campaign against unions and the middle class. The governor has neglected his constitutional duty to present the legislature with a budget and he has vetoed every budget that we have presented him with, creating the ongoing crisis.”

Holmes refers to Article VIII, Section 2(a) of the Constitution of the State of Illinois, which states: “The Governor shall prepare and submit to the General Assembly, at a time prescribed by law, a State budget for the ensuing fiscal year.”

“Governor Rauner has placed our state in this precarious situation by holding the budget hostage to further his partisan agenda,” Holmes said. “With Attorney General Madigan’s announcement, we find ourselves heading toward a government shutdown if there is not a budget by February 28. The governor should start governing and do what is asked of him in the Illinois Constitution.”

The lack of a state budget has already had serious consequences for Illinois’ social service providers. Smart Steps, a community-based early childhood education organization with over 20 years of experience serving families in Aurora, was almost forced to close because the state government could not provide them the funding that they needed to pay their bills without a budget.

“After over two years, I'm still upset that Springfield has no budget,” said George Jones, a Smart Steps board member. “I hope that a budget can be approved soon, because social service providers have little to no financial reserves to wait seven or more months to be paid for vital services."

The court order mandating payment of state employees will be lifted on February 28 per Attorney General Madigan’s order. If a budget is not yet passed, thousands of state employees will not be paid.