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Labor leaders, agencies, educators sound off to end Illinois budget impasse

MOLINE -- It's the sound of dissent from union members without a contract, agencies without funding and educators facing cuts.

"We want a governor who creates jobs, not destroys jobs," said Dino Leone, Quad City Federation of Labor president, on Monday, April 17.

Speeches call attention to a union, agencies and schools that are hurting without an Illinois budget.

"The more staff cuts you have, obviously, the fewer people you can serve," said Kathy Doherty, a longtime professional at the Robert Young Center in Rock Island.

It's a rallying call from some of the state's most vulnerable residents and programs.  They know what it's like to see programs and services severely scaled back or cut.

"You can't have a budget get passed on the backs of public workers, on the backs of union members," said Dan Morris, Rock Island Indivisible.

Just steps away at the iWireless Center, Gov. Bruce Rauner, (R) Illinois, was advising local business leaders wanting a state budget to step into action.

He wants them to call, e-mail, text or visit Democratic Illinois House members to push for a budget compromise.

"This is really not about partisanship," he said.  "This is about good government and about economic opportunity for all people of Illinois."

Governor Rauner added that funding social services and other programs also depends on building the state's economy.

"We need to change, so we can fund human services for the long-term, not just stop gap spending," he said.

Speeches outside also focus on nearly 300 area AFSCME workers surrounding the Illinois Quad Cities without a contract.

"Speaker Madigan deserves blame for the situation we're in right now, without a doubt," said AFSCME retiree Gregg Johnson. "But Governor Rauner is taking us over the cliff."

Both sides still hope that the Illinois House can get down to business when it returns to Springfield next week.