Illinois Lottery Winners, Others, May Not Get Paid Without State Budget | WBEZ
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Illinois Lottery Winners, Others, May Not Get Paid Without State Budget

Illinois’ comptroller says lottery winners could once again not collect their winnings if there’s no budget approved by July 1.

Eleven months ago, there was no full state budget approved until an appropriation was passed in the middle of the fiscal year, when lawmakers approved what amounted to partial spending plans that funded salt for icy roads, heat for low income residents in the winter and even lottery winners. But without a new proposal, those services are scheduled to once again lose state money on July 1, Comptroller Leslie Munger said Thursday. She called the prospect of going into a second year without a state budget a self-inflicted trauma that is “unacceptable” and “unnecessary.”

“This budget stalemate is causing irreparable harm to the very people and organizations that our government exists to serve,” Munger said at a news conference.

She also warned that last year, lawmakers approved a spending plan for grade schools and early childhood education, which has still not been approved.

As for the latest in budget talks, Democrats and Republicans recently disagreed whether political insults matter to budget negotiations .

Munger, who was appointed to comptroller by Gov. Bruce Rauner shortly after he took office when Judy Baar Topinka died, is up for election this fall against Chicago City Clerk Susana Mendoza. Munger said Thursday she wouldn’t be attending the Republican National Convention next month, following in the steps of other top Illinois Republicans -- Rauner and U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk. She did not say whether she would endorse Donald Trump for president.

“If Leslie Munger won’t stand up to Trump, then her silence is a betrayal of our American values,” said Mendoza in a statement sent to reporters. “Fact is if Munger won’t speak truth to Donald Trump, she won’t speak truth to those in power in Springfield who continue the mess that is state government.”

Tony Arnold covers Illinois politics. Follow him @tonyjarnold.

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