Mercer County may sue state

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record
The state's budget impasse hangs over Mercer County like dark storm clouds.

Mercer County is poised to take legal action against the state if no budget agreement is in place in Springfield by the County Board's Nov. 3 meeting. Gridlock in budget talks in the capital continues to affect counties, municipalities and non-profit organizations, especially with no agreement appearing to be in sight.

Finance Committee Chairman Ted Pappas presented the information to the committee during its Oct. 13 meeting. Pappas said no action would be taken until the November meeting.

The state is required to reimburse the county for salaries it pays to the state's attorney, public defender and supervisor of assessment.

"They haven't been paying," he said.

The proposal to be presented to the full board in November would be for Mercer County to sue the state or join a lawsuit for reimbursement.

"I support 100 percent us taking this action if we have to," Pappas told committee members.

"(State's Attorney) Greg McHugh asked me for my support to bring litigation forward to the state just to make sure" the state doesn't forget about Mercer County "and they just don't pay us," he said to reporters following the committee meeting.

"Springfield is still frozen," McHugh said during the full board meeting. "We want to join with other counties or on our own and file a lawsuit. Whoever sues the state seems to get paid."

The state's attorney cautioned, however, "I can't guarantee we'd win."