- Associated Press - Friday, December 18, 2015

MARION, Ill. (AP) - A southern Illinois county is the latest local government to sue the state over unpaid bills amid a six-month budget impasse.

Williamson County on Friday sued the Illinois Department of Revenue and state Comptroller Leslie Munger over what local elected officials say is less than $140,000 in unmet salary reimbursements that help pay for the county’s top prosecutor, public defender and supervisor of assessments.

“It’s a sad day when Williamson County has to take legal action . to receive the funds that are rightfully owed to the county so that we can continue to provide the services the residents of Williamson County deserve,” County Board Chairman Jim Marlo told The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan (bit.ly/1OcdZs6 ) at a Thursday news conference.

Governments in St. Clair County and in southern Saline and Gallatin counties have filed lawsuits seeking release of tax money collected on cell and landline phone calls for 911 emergency-dispatch centers. The new complaint cites a favorable ruling in the St. Clair case that the county believes provides evidence that the state should pay up.

Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a $3.1 billion spending bill earlier this month that frees up some other sources of state money for local governments.

Spokesmen for the two state agencies said Friday that the money can only be freed up once Democratic-majority state lawmakers and Rauner, a first-term Republican, settle their differences.

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