Protesters gather before Rauner’s State of State

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Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) _ More than 500 people gathered at the Illinois Capitol ahead of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s State of the State address to call for an end to the state budget impasse.

The Responsible Budget Coalition’s rally was Wednesday morning in the building’s first-floor rotunda. Protesters waved signs and yelled “Rauner says cut back! We say fight back!”

A retiree from Chicago Heights said he came from the South Side of Chicago on a bus with about 50 others to ask Illinois leaders to solve the budget crisis. He held a sign with “Budget Now for Families.” Other signs called for a budget for youth, higher education and immigrant services.

Rauner and Democrats who control the state Legislature have been unable to agree on a budget for the fiscal year that started July 1.