Judge rules comptroller may choose funds for paying workers

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) _ A judge has ruled that the Illinois state comptroller may direct which accounts should be used to pay state employees.

Democratic Comptroller Susana Mendoza reported late Tuesday that St. Clair County Circuit Judge Robert LeChien (luh-SHEE’-ehn) ruled against Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner. She may decide how to pay 600 employees.

Rauner wanted the Department of Central Management Services workers paid from general revenue. But there’s a two-year budget stalemate and no appropriations for that fund.

Mendoza indicated they should be paid from the agency’s garage and maintenance funds. Mendoza says those funds have $93 million available.

Rauner’s office didn’t immediately comment Wednesday.

The judge ruled in 2015 that state employees should be paid even without a legislative appropriation. Attorney General Lisa Madigan appealed that order Tuesday to the Supreme Court.