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Gov. Rauner Says State Lawmakers Should Pass Balanced Budget Before Getting Paid

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The wealthy governor of Illinois is calling for state legislators to go without pay until a balanced budget is passed.

The comptroller's office reports lawmakers last received paychecks in June.  It has put elected officials' pay in a queue, along with $10 billion of overdue bills the state can't currently afford.

Several Democrats are suing to reinstate their monthly income. But the governor criticized them in a video message.  

"If they won't do a balanced budget, they shouldn't be paid first," he said in the video. "No budget, no pay."

Critics say that's easy for Rauner, since he made almost $188 million last year.

Withholding lawmakers' pay already has been deemed unconstitutional. However, a Cook County court has yet to decide whether it's legal to delay pay due to lack of funds.  

Amanda Vinicky moved to Chicago Tonight on WTTW-TV PBS in 2017.