SPRINGFIELD — — Gov. Pat Quinn has yet to sign a key part of the Illinois budget that gives the state comptroller the ability to issue paychecks to tens of thousands of state employees.
Quinn has until July 15 to sign House Bill 214. If he doesn't, the state workers won't get paid. The fiscal year began July 1.
"We are carefully reviewing the bill," Quinn's spokeswoman, Brooke Anderson, told Lee Enterprises newspapers (http://bit.ly/1bjnrKd) on Monday.
Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka's spokesman, Brad Hahn, said the office is readying paychecks for when Quinn acts on the budget.
"We're just waiting to see what the governor does," Hahn said. "We're in a holding pattern."
The bill also would provide money for agencies in charge of things like state campgrounds and running two state fairs. It contains a 250-page spending plan for state agencies.
The state budget is one of the General Assembly's most important tasks, and a windfall of tax dollars this spring allowed lawmakers to keep from reducing spending in a number of areas. It can be one of the more contentious issues during the spring session, but this year it was overshadowed by the Legislature's focus on gun possession and the state's $97 billion pension crisis.
Lawmakers met Monday to discuss the pension problem, but insisted they could not meet Quinn's latest deadline of July 9 for solving it. The governor has repeatedly chastised lawmakers for failing to meet deadlines.
Both the House and Senate return to the Capitol Tuesday for a special session, during which they are expected to override changes Quinn made to a concealed-carry gun possession bill with an amendatory veto.