SEIU Healthcare sues to force state pay on workers’ health

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A labor union representing Illinois home health care workers has filed legal action to force government payment of health insurance costs. SEIU Healthcare Illinois filed in St. Clair County Friday seeking a temporary restraining order against Gov. Bruce Rauner and Comptroller Leslie Munger. The union contends they have refused to pay the government’s portion of health insurance costs despite a contractual obligation. It says the state owes $1.5 million from last year and $11.8 million since July. The union says if the state doesn’t pay up, the workers will lose insurance after Dec. 31. Rauner spokeswoman Catherine Kelly says there’s no spending authority to make the payments because of the months-long budget stalemate. The issue affects nearly 5,000 personal health care assistants who make as little as $15,000 a year.