State shutdown won't stop you from getting a driver's license

  • Secretary of State Jesse White's staff says facilities like this one in Des Plaines are staying open despite the budget impasse in Springfield.

      Secretary of State Jesse White's staff says facilities like this one in Des Plaines are staying open despite the budget impasse in Springfield. George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 7/7/2015 6:14 PM

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White's office says his employees will continue to help people with driver's licenses and provide other services as the state begins its second week without a budget.

A Cook County judge's ruling Tuesday means state employees won't be paid without a budget in place, but Illinois' biggest public worker union and Comptroller Leslie Munger plan to appeal the ruling. And the union has another case pending, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Driving services is a big way Illinoisans interact with state government on a regular basis, unlike some programs that, while critically important to some people, many never use or think about.

White spokesman Henry Haupt says the first payroll the office's employees would miss without a budget is July 26. Haupt said White is "impressed by our employees' dedication."

"We're paying close attention to the budget process, and we want to stay open as long as possible," Haupt said.

The state lost its abilities to pay many new bills after the new financial year began July 1 without a budget as Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Democrat-led legislature continue to clash.

The payroll question is likely to continue.

"Throughout Illinois they are keeping their communities safe, protecting kids, caring for veterans and people with disabilities, and providing countless other vital public services -- and they should be paid for their work on time and in full," said Roberta Lynch, executive director of American Federation for State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31.

Lawmakers are set to meet at the Capitol this week, but a one-month stopgap budget that could be considered has both been opposed by Rauner and wouldn't affect services like White's office.

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