Updated 07/01/15 – 11:26 a.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — As the state entered a new fiscal year with no budget in place, and Democratic lawmakers prepared to vote on a one-month spending plan to avoid a temporary government shutdown, state workers were venting their frustration at a big rally in downtown Chicago.
House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) planned to call for a vote on a $2.3 billion one-month budget to avoid the shutdown. Democrats said the plan would provide for one month of essential services such as state police, Medicaid, veterans’ homes, nutrition for the elderly, childcare programs, and more.
“I would simply hope that the governor would see the wisdom of continuing to keep the government functioning,” Madigan said Tuesday. “This is a reasonable proposal.”
It will take a three-fifths majority vote of the House and Senate to approve the temporary budget, meaning if any House Democrat votes against the plan, and Republicans hold ranks, the measure would fail. Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner has previously said he would veto any temporary budget; but since the spending plan would cover only one month of the state’s bills, and Democrats have enough votes to override a veto, the governor could simply let it sit on his desk without acting, and allow the stalemate to continue.
More than 1,000 state workers and social service agency employees staged a demonstration Wednesday morning outside the Thompson Center – the state’s primary office building in Chicago – after walking off their jobs, or shutting down their offices to bring attention to the state’s budget impasse.
Demonstrators called on the governor and lawmakers to approve a responsible budget, including new revenue instead of cuts to state services.
“This is obviously the workers who aren’t sure if they’re going to have a job, but it’s also about the clients that they serve every day. These are low-income, vulnerable communities,” said Tuyet Le, executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice, a group of community activists and business leaders.