- Associated Press - Thursday, October 20, 2016

CHICAGO (AP) - Social service providers want the Illinois Supreme Court to intervene in their legal battle to force immediate payment on state contracts.

The Pay Now Illinois coalition filed a request Thursday with the state’s highest court.

Nearly 100 groups sued in May over fallout from the budget stalemate, which is in its second year. The providers said they were owed roughly $160 million because the state didn’t honor contracts.

The coalition says a partial spending plan that expires in January is insufficient.

A Cook County judge dismissed the lawsuit in August, saying the issue belonged in a higher court.

Roughly 60 groups remain in the coalition. They’re also seeking legal clarification on how Illinois can pay employees but not service providers.

The lawsuit names Gov. Bruce Rauner and state agency leaders.

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