CHICAGO (CBS) — In a symbolic gesture to urge the governor and state lawmakers to come up with a budget, a group of community activists on Monday purchased Illinois Lottery tickets, and pledged to donate any winnings to the state.

A week after Gov. Bruce Rauner signed stopgap legislation to resume payouts for Lottery winners – most of which had been halted due to the state’s budget impasse – a group of community leaders bought Powerball and scratch-off tickets on Monday.

William McNary, co-director of Citizen Action Illinois, said the governor needs to get his priorities straight.

“The governor has to get his priorities straight,” McNary said. “Just last week, this is a real bill that happened while the legislature met. They met and voted to pay off gamblers. A billion dollars that was set aside. If they can meet to do that, if they can find a billion dollars to support the Illinois Lottery, they can find a billion dollars for critical services.”

McNary says while the purchasing of lottery tickets is more symbolic, it's a reminder of the choices that are being made in Springfield. (Credit: Lisa Fielding)

McNary says while the purchasing of lottery tickets is more symbolic, it’s a reminder of the choices that are being made in Springfield. (Credit: Lisa Fielding)

McNary says any winnings from these lottery tickets will be donated to critical services that aren’t being funded as a result of the nearly six month old budget stalemate.

“Our program has already been cut,” said Charlie Hogan, Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans. “The Meals on Wheels program has been cut from five days a week to three. Budgets are moral statements. It’s where our priorities are. They just put aside a billion bucks to pay lottery winners but these seniors were made a promise and this isn’t right. They need to find revenue. They need to put aside these non-budget issues. They have to sit down and find the revenue. The money is there somewhere.”

Any winnings from these lottery tickets will be donated to critical services that aren't being funded as a result of the nearly six month old budget stalemate. (Credit: Lisa Fielding)

Any winnings from these lottery tickets will be donated to critical services that aren’t being funded as a result of the nearly six month old budget stalemate. (Credit: Lisa Fielding)

McNary says while the purchasing of lottery tickets is more symbolic, it’s a reminder of the choices that are being made in Springfield.

“If the governor can sign a bill to pay gamblers, he can surely sign a bill to fund Meals on Wheels, he can sign a bill to make sure teenagers can go to after school programs, he can sign a bill to make sure the homeless have the shelter and services they need. While a few lottery winners may win some money, we need to give all of our families the real chance to succeed choosing revenue and tax fairness over vital services.”

But Illinois Lottery officials say the bill that was passed doesn’t affect the general fund.

“State lottery money comes from its own funds and that bill that was passed only gave us legal access to pay lottery winners so it really doesn’t impact any potential money that would go to other state services,” said Illinois Lottery spokesman Steve Rossi.