Garda Cash Logistics cuts off services due to budget impasse

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - The armored car company hired by the state demanded to be paid, or it would stop moving money for Illinois.

Tens of thousands of dollars flow through 29 different state driver's license facilities in the Chicago area every day. For now, though, state workers will carry that cash to the bank.

“That's absurd! That is crazy!” said Cherise Bolling.

After Bolling renewed her driver's license in Deerfield, FOX 32 told her the cash she had just paid would not be taken away in an armored car. The State of Illinois owes $50,000 to Garda Cash Logistics, and the state hasn't paid a penny for the armored services it has gotten since June.

So, Garda has now cut off its services to Illinois. 

“I think it's stupid!” said Northbrook resident Dolores Parks.

FOX 32 News has learned the Secretary of State tried to persuade other armored car companies to step into the breach, but they all refused.

"Very few people want to do business with the state right now," said a spokesman for Secretary Jesse White.

It's now fallen to Secretary of State Police to get all that cash to the bank, which is an assignment they're not trained for, using vehicles far less secure than an armored car.

“It's not fair to the employees to expect them. And people watch. I know it's Deerfield, but there's crime in Deerfield also,” said Maureen Whisler.

Democratic Secretary of State Jesse White told FOX 32, "This is another example of serious problems being caused directly by the failure of the state to pay its bills and pass a 2016 budget. The Governor needs to work with the legislature and put this crisis behind us."

Gov. Rauner's spokeswoman was just as predictable: "Governor Rauner has proposed a series of reforms to free up resources within state government, which will help balance the budget, but Democrats continue to block those efforts."

“We hear all about the child care issues. We hear about schools. We hear about colleges,” said Susan Garrett. “But now we have security issues. And if it starts at this level, you bet it's only gonna get worse.”

Garrett's Illinois Campaign for Political Reform is the group that shamed Springfield's top pols into meeting face to face next month.

Gov. Rauner's already said he doesn't expect them to reach a deal.

Rauner's spokeswoman gave the following statement: "The Governor's Office was unaware of the discontinuation of service at the Secretay of State. We have dealt with similar issues at state agencies, and we would be happy to provide Secretary White with assistance. Governor Rauner has proposed a series of reforms to free up resources within state government, which will help balance the budget, but the super majority in the legislature continues to block those reforms. We urge the legislature to work with the governor on passing meaningful reform or pass a truly balanced budget."