ILLINOIS — Governor Bruce Rauner is escalating his ongoing feud with Comptroller Susana Mendoza, putting her on notice in a video his office posted on Twitter.
Mendoza had threatened not to issue immediate paychecks to state lawmakers until the Democrat-led General Assembly passed a full budget and the governor signed it into law.
She has also indicated she would support a hypothetical court order to delay paychecks to state workers if a judge overturns a 2015 ruling which requires the Office of the Comptroller to issue timely paychecks to government workers.
Now, Governor Rauner says the law and the courts are on his side, and he’s warning his office will exhaust all legal options, perhaps a lawsuit, if the comptroller refuses to sign paychecks for government employees.
“This latest attempt to force a crisis is a clear violation of a court order to pay state employees,” Rauner said. “It’s part of a pattern we’ve seen. Trying to create a crisis that would force another incomplete, stopgap budget or a massive tax hike with no changes to our broken system.”
Rauner accused Mendoza of participating in a three-headed attack to manufacture a government shutdown, aided by Attorney General Lisa Madigan and House Speaker Michael Madigan.
Mendoza’s office issued a blistering response in a written statement, claiming the governor is in “bizarro world.” It reads in part, “Governor Rauner is concocting ridiculous conspiracy theories and wasting more taxpayer dollars.”
A portion of the governor’s video blamed Mendoza for cutting hardship payments to the Department of Aging, and delaying payments to the Department of Health and Family Services and the Department of Corrections.