Protesters Demanding Budget Block Rauner’s Office Entrance
Twenty-seven protesters were blocking access to Governor Bruce Rauner’s office at the state Capitol in Springfield on Tuesday as the legislative session wound toward a conclusion. The protesters want the governor to agree to a state budget, and end an impasse with Democrats that is almost two years old.
Kristi Sanford is a spokeswoman for the activists, who took part in a two-week march from Chicago to Springfield. Sanford says they blame Illinois’ lack of a state budget on both the Republican governor and Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan.
“So we’re here to say to both Mike Madigan and to Bruce Rauner, the only common ground that you need to find is the courage to tax corporations and the rich. And the reason they don’t do it is because that’s their donor class," Sanford said.
Eight more protesters also entered the Illinois House chamber earlier Tuesday but Sanford says they were removed and moved to the hall outside
The March to Springfield participants plan to block the entrance of Rauner’s office overnight, or until they are arrested, Sanford said.
The legsilative session is scheduled to end Wednesday.
UPDATE: The People's Lobby, one of the organizers of the March to Springfield, announced Tuesday evening that 34 protesters would hold a vigil in from of the governor's office until morning, or until they were arrested, or until the legislature and governor approved what they termed a "People and Planet First" budget. A statement from the People's Lobby says Secretary of State police were barring deliveries of food to the protesters.