March 23, 2017

Awaiting court's decision in state paychecks case

On June 13 in Mt. Vernon, AFSCME’s attorney strongly defended the court order that ensures state workers are paid, on time and in full, even in the absence of a state budget.

That order has kept vital public services in place for the people of Illinois despite Governor Rauner’s efforts to hold the state budget hostage.

A three-judge appellate panel is hearing the appeal from the Attorney General to dissolve the court order. 

AFSCME Council 31 filed its brief to the Fifth District Appellate Court making the case for continued state employee paychecks during the budget standoff. The Illinois AFL-CIO filed an amicus brief in the case, as did Gov. Bruce Rauner.

The Illinois Supreme Court refused to grant Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s request for direct appeal of the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) that AFSCME and other unions won to ensure that state employees are paid despite the two-years-stalled budget.

The St. Clair County Circuit Court that issued the TRO rejected the AG’s motion to dissolve it. Rather than appealing that decision in state appellate court per the normal judicial procedures, AG Madigan sought a direct appeal to the Supreme Court, which would have allowed for a speedier final resolution—and, if she had won her case, for a speedier cut-off of state employee paychecks.

Now paychecks will continue as the case makes its way through the legal system. If AFSCME prevails before the Appellate Court and if the AG continues to appeal, the case will go to the Illinois Supreme Court. The issue on appeal is whether the TRO should be dissolved—not the merits of the case itself. These proceedings will be relatively swift.

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