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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

Social-Service Providers Await Ruling On Where Their Lawsuit Should Be Heard

"Courtroom One Gavel" by Flickr User Beth Cortez-Neavel / (CC BY 2.0)

Social-service providers suing Illinois over lack of payment during the state's budget impasse have presented oral arguments before an appeals court and are waiting for a decision on where the case should be heard.

The Pay Now Illinois coalition sued last year in Cook County to force the state to honor contracts during the budget stalemate, which is nearing two full years. However, a Cook County judge dismissed the lawsuit, saying it belonged in a higher court.

Attorneys for the coalition and attorney general's office presented their arguments Thursday before the Illinois Appellate Court.

The judges didn't indicate when they'd rule. 

The coalition argues there's been a "breakdown of constitutional government,'' and social-service providers are being held hostage in the disagreement between Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democrats running the Legislature.

Attorneys for the state dismissed those arguments.

A similar lawsuit has been filed in St. Clair County.

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