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Madigan Takes State Employee Case to Court

Attorney General Lisa Madigan is taking her case over state employee pay to the Illinois Supreme Court.

Madigan is asking the justices to review a lower court order that’s kept state workers getting paid during the 20-month budget stalemate.

She says the order has enabled Gov. Bruce Rauner and the General Assembly to shirk their constitutional  obligation, avoiding tough decisions about state spending.

MADIGAN: "You’ll recall, over the years, when there is the possibility when the federal government doesn’t pass a budget, there is a lot of concern and consternation, because government will shut down."

Rauner says Madigan’s move is "wrong,” though he has previously talked about using Illinois' money problems as “leverage” to pass his agenda.

Rauner, however, has been selective about what parts of government are squeezed: He's eager to see state workers getting paid, while human service contractors and state universities have been starved.

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.