Comptroller-elect Susana Mendoza announced Tuesday that she will keep her predecessor’s policy that withholds state government paychecks until other bills are paid, according to Politico.
“I think that while I will continue the policy, it’s not fair to say that politicians are not doing their jobs,” Mendoza said. “While (passing a budget is the most important aspect, they’re doing a lot more than just that. But how do you prioritize politicians before most vulnerable people in the state? It’s not vilifying one group over another. It’s just how do you prioritize.”
As a result of the state’s budget stalemate, outgoing Comptroller Leslie Munger announced in April that lawmakers would have to wait in line to receive paychecks with other state vendors. Munger called the prioritization of payments to elected officials “unfair.”
Due to the policy, lawmakers have been paid through May, with June paychecks being processed now, according to Politico.
Munger, who was edged out by Mendoza in last week’s election, also introduced a “No Budget, No Pay” bill in August. Under the legislation, lawmakers would need to pass a balanced budget in order for constitutional officers and legislators to receive their salary. The Republican used the policy as a cornerstone of her unsuccessful campaign, even pushing the proposal in a television ad.
Gov. Bruce Rauner and the state’s top legislative leaders resumed budget negotiations Tuesday in Springfield as the General Assembly reconvened for veto sessions. A stopgap budget compromise is set to expire at the end of the year.