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Human Service Groups Ask St. Clair County Judge to Order Payment


Illinois social service agencies were in a St. Clair County courtroom Wednesday, trying to convince a judge to make Illinois pay for work they’ve already done.

Governor Bruce Rauner’s administration has continued signing contacts with the groups — even as he’s vetoed the General Assembly’s attempts to appropriate money.

Andrea Durbin is leader of the coalition, and says Illinois knows what it’s doing.

“What they’re doing is they’re banking on — in the most cynical way — they’re banking on the fact that we give a damn, and we won’t turn our backs on these clients, we won’t shove them out into the streets, that we won’t lay off our employees until it’s impossible for us to do anything else.”

The state opposes the idea of forcing payment. It says the Illinois Constitution exclusively gives the General Assembly the power to appropriate money.

This is the second lawsuit filed by the social service providers. The Appellate Court in Chicago is expected to rule on that case Thursday morning.

Brian Mackey formerly reported on state government and politics for NPR Illinois and a dozen other public radio stations across the state. Before that, he was A&E editor at The State Journal-Register and Statehouse bureau chief for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.
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