“Why has she stood silently by each year in office as [the] General Assembly passed unconstitutional budgets for 12 years?”
That's the question Illinois State Representative Grant Wehrli tweeted last Saturday in response to State Attyorney General Lisa Madigan's filing of a motion in St. Clair County Circuit Court two days earlier to strip state workers of their pay pending resolution of a contract dispute.
Intervening in a lawsuit brought against Gov. Bruce Rauner by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Madigan moved to dissolve by Feb. 28 a preliminary injunction requiring state workers to be paid in the absence of a budget.
Wehrli's question was a rhetorical one. Familiar with the Madigan M.O., he knows that Lisa's latest ploy is solely intended to obstruct the governor's agenda and gain political advantage.
As Mark Glennon of WirePoints noted a year and a half ago when she first attempted to thwart payment of state workers, “Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan went to court yesterday to stop state worker paychecks during the government shutdown or to allow payment of no more $7.25 an hour – the minimum wage. That action, together with the background story behind it – use of the courts to deliberately sabotage an agreement both workers and the state want – comprise one of the most sordid chapters of Illinois politics in recent memory.”
As it happens, during a prior state budget crisis, Madigan actually helped ensure that public employees were paid their proper wages on time. On that previous occasion, of course, there was a Democrat governor involved, instead of a Republican. That, apparently, made all the difference.
“Lisa Madigan wants chaos and hardship to result from the budget impasse for the purpose of embarrassing the Rauner administration,” Glennon explained, “and she has sacrificed the interests of workers and the state towards that goal.”
Rather than suspend state worker pay, let's suspend Lisa's-- until she stops playing politics and starts doing her job.