Clergy and activists with Fair Economy Illinois protested at the Thompson Center late Monday afternoon, calling on Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and state lawmakers to raise "revenue from corporations and the wealthy in order to preserve education, public services and programs that serve the poor."
According to news advisory about the event from Fair Economy Illinois, activists planned to participate in civil disobedience by blocking traffic.
"In an era where corporations are earning record profits and most of the wealth created since the Great Recession has accrued to the one percent, it is simply immoral to create a budget that lets the wealthy and corporations off the hook," Pastor Fred Kinsey of Unity Lutheran Church in Chicago's Edgewater neighborhood said in a statement. "There is plenty of wealth in Illinois, but it's concentrated in the hands of a few. Without a permanent source of progressive revenue, we will continue to see cuts that balance the budget on the backs of the most vulnerable in our society. It's time for big corporations and the wealthy to pay their fair share."
The protest comes after the state legislature's spring session ended Sunday without an agreement on a budget for the 2016 fiscal year, which starts July 1.
Before the session ended Sunday, Democratic lawmakers, who control both chambers, passed a budget that is $3 billion short. Rauner has said he won't sign off on an unbalanced budget. The governor also wants lawmakers to pass several of his pro-business "Turnaround Agenda" items.
The Illinois House is slated to return Thursday and the Senate will reconvene on June 9 for a special session to address the budget.