EAST ST. LOUIS, Illinois — A judge has ordered Illinois to pay more than $13 million to cover the cost of health insurance for home health care workers.
SEIU Healthcare Illinois took legal action against Gov. Bruce Rauner and Comptroller Leslie Munger earlier this month to force the payments.
The union says nearly 5,000 health care assistants could lose insurance Dec. 31 if the state doesn't pay.
Rauner's office said there wasn't spending authority to make the payments because of an ongoing budget impasse.
But St. Clair County Judge Robert LeChien ruled Wednesday that Illinois can't violate its contract with the workers because lawmakers can't agree on a budget.
He criticized a "fiddle while burning posture" of the governor and Legislature and ordered the state to pay within 10 days.