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Illinois Policy Institute

If Springfield politicians do not pass a budget by June 30, the state will be forced to stop payments to winning lottery ticket holders, Illinois’ comptroller has warned.

Winning Illinois Lottery ticket holders may again have to wait for their payouts if politicians do not pass a state budget before the next fiscal year begins July 1, according to the Illinois comptroller.

Due to the state’s budget gridlock and lack of funds appropriated for lottery payouts, the Illinois Lottery officially stopped paying winners of amounts over $25,000 in September 2015, and stopped payments to winners of over $600 in October 2015. After lawsuits filed against the lottery by holders of winning tickets, in December 2015, the General Assembly passed and Gov. Bruce Rauner signed into law, a bill allocating $3.1 billion for lottery payouts, as well as payments to highway departments and social service providers.

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Illinois is now in its 12th month without a state budget, and the state’s backlog of unpaid bills stood at $7.4 billion as of June 14. If politicians do not pass a budget by June 30, the end of the fiscal year, the state may also have to halt construction projects that employ 25,000 people, and social service agencies may have to cut programs, including those that help homeless families and people with mental illness.

Lawmakers must put the interests of the state ahead of politics and pass a budget Illinois taxpayers can afford. Lottery winners, and Illinoisans who rely on state-funded services, deserve nothing less.

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