Illinois’s 307 days without a budget is dividing the state into the haves and have-nots.
Thanks to a fleeting political thaw, universities are starting to receive $600 million that’s been held up during the record long-impasse, and government employees, pensioners and bondholders have all seen their checks continue to come. But on the other side are the homeless shelters, charities and companies that are owed $6 billion, a sum that’s projected to grow to $10 billion by July 1. Elected officials’ paychecks have been delayed since last month, too, in a last ditch effort to prod lawmakers to act.
“The state of Illinois did not make themselves and their financial health a priority overall,” said Philip Krupps, president of Brown County State Bank in Mount Sterling, Illinois, where the local state prison is at least six months behind on its municipal water bill. “They’re playing the shell game of moving money around and just satisfying enough of each little need to pacify the situation.”