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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

Federal Judge Protects Children And Family Services Funding From Budget Deadlock


UPDATE, 11:15 am

A federal judge says Illinois must keep funding child-protection services while the governor and lawmakers haggle over the budget. The ACLU went to court to ask the judge to keep money available for for the Department of Children and Family Services, regardless of the ruling on paychecks for other state employees.


Two key court hearings are happening in Chicago today that could shape how the Illinois state government shutdown plays out. 

The Department of Children and Family Services is the agency that removes abused or neglected children from their homes, and monitors foster care.

Those are the kind of services that Ben Wolf with the American Civil Liberties Union is asking a federal judge to protect -- saying those families shouldn’t be affected by the political standoff.

“I’m sorry that the Illinois officials are playing chicken with the lives of our clients, but we’re gonna do everything we can to make sure the basics are provided while the state decides what it’s going to do,” Wolf said.

In another courtroom, attorneys are scheduled to ask a judge to decide whether state employees can get paid -- even though politicians haven’t appropriated the necessary money.

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