The budget impasse that’s been ongoing for months in the state of Illinois took a positive step forward on Monday, Dec. 7, when Republican Governor Bruce Rauner signed a stopgap bill that will allow for funding in certain areas to resume. Local government coffers, poverty initiatives, domestic violence shelters, and all lottery payouts should start receiving the funding they’re owed as soon as next week, according to the Chicago-area ABC affiliate ABC7Chicago.com.
“Winners who have already submitted claims will have their paperwork processed in the order it was received,” lottery officials said in a statement. “The Lottery expects the processing of new claims to begin the week of December 14th.”
The Republican Governor and Democrat-controlled State Senate have been at odds since the deadline to pass a budget came and went in July.
Since then Rauner has been reluctant to agree to any sort of piecemeal legislation as it’s his belief that the entire system needs an overhaul. The bill he signed off on came to him with unanimous support from both parties in a 53-0 vote.
“What you see with this bill is, frankly, evidence that the governor can reach across the aisle and you can reach back and we can all get on the same page and do things together,” said Sen. Matt Murphy, a Palatine Republican. “Let’s hope that this is an example that produces more similar outcomes as we come into 2016.”
After public officials failed to pass a budget the state lottery was barred from paying out lottery payments over $600, leaving many disgruntled would-be winners left with IOUs. For most Americans, who rely their on income from steady jobs or freelance gigs, waiting to receive lottery payments can have drastic effects on household budgets.
Starting next week, however, those winners should start seeing the cash they’re owed as $1 billion was allotted to the lottery coffers under this stopgap legislation.
Hopefully with the extra time these winners have had to contemplate their new wealth, they will be less likely to fall victim to some of the typical pitfalls. Overall, whether lotto winners win $500 million or $1 million, about 70% lose or spend all their money in five years or less.