- Associated Press - Saturday, September 26, 2015

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Environmental groups have warned that the state budget standoff could lead to more trash headed to landfills across Illinois.

The Illinois Environmental Council wrote its members about the potential cancellation of recycling grant programs run by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, according to a story this week by the Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers (https://bit.ly/1YG47Q1 ). It warned of the potential layoffs of three workers who oversee the programs.

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Democrat-controlled state Legislature can’t agree on a spending plan for the fiscal year that began on July 1. Rauner announced layoffs and closures to keep spending in check until there was a budget. Three people who oversee programs diverting waste from landfills were to be laid off Oct. 1.

But the layoffs are on hold as a judge considers workers’ arguments brought by labor unions.

“It’s unfortunate that this is going on,” said Michelle Lechner, executive director of the Illinois Recycling Association. “Hopefully things will get back up and running when they get a budget.”



The first-term governor has said he wants business and union reforms in conjunction with a state budget, but Democratic legislators say they’ve considered measures Rauner wants in several overtime sessions.

A budget gives the state spending authority. However, money is being spent because of court orders, consent decrees and state laws.

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Information from: Southern Illinoisan, https://www.southernillinoisan.com

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