By Associated Press - Tuesday, July 7, 2015

CHICAGO (AP) - A federal judge in Chicago has ordered the state of Illinois to keep funding its child-protection services despite a budget deadlock.

Judge Jorge Alonso’s action came Tuesday after the American Civil Liberties Union asked him to compel the comptroller to keep money flowing under a long-standing consent decree.

There was no disagreement. Both the Department of Children and Family Services and the comptroller’s office agreed agency employees should be paid.

Speaking later, ACLU attorney Heidi Dalenberg said disagreement had focused on whether the comptroller could pay agency workers under a 2009 order during a similar budget impasse. She says the new order ensured the payments were legally sound.

A spokesman for Comptroller Leslie Munger, Rich Carter, welcomed the order. He added, “We believe all state employees should be paid.”

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