SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois comptroller has appealed a Cook County judge’s ruling that state lawmakers must be paid on time despite their failure to pass a budget.

Comptroller Susana Mendoza said Wednesday that Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office filed the appeal on her behalf Tuesday. The judge ruled last week in favor of lawmakers who sued Mendoza’s predecessor seeking pay.

READ MORE: Pair Charged In Murder Of 8-Year-Old Melissa Ortega Denied Bail; Accused Teen Gunman Committed Three Previous Carjackings, Prosecutors Say

Mendoza spokesman Abdon Pallasch says $8.6 million in back pay owed legislators was released late last week.

But the Democrat is appealing because she says bills for services for the state’s “most vulnerable” should be paid before lawmakers.

READ MORE: Chicago Weather Alert: Heavy Lake Effect Snow Possible Through Tomorrow Morning

Unpaid bills of $12.4 billion have piled up because of the budget stalemate.

The judge based the ruling on a 2014 law passed after then-Gov. Pat Quinn withheld paychecks over pension reform.

MORE NEWS: Bears Reportedly Hiring Colts Defensive Coordinator Matt Eberflus As New Head Coach

(TM and © Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)