Daily Egyptian

Community to host vigil Saturday to protest budget impasse

By Anna Spoerre, @annaspoerre

Concerned community members will gather downtown Saturday to continue protesting the state’s ongoing budget crisis.

The Peace Coalition of Southern Illinois, as part of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, is holding its monthly Vigil for Peace and Justice from noon to 1 p.m. at the corner of Main Street and Illinois Avenue. This month’s vigil theme is an “end to the Illinois Budget Crisis.”

History professor Holly Hurlburt, a member of the event’s cosponsor — the SIUC Faculty Association — said the purpose of the vigil is to raise awareness about Illinois’ financial crisis. Those present will have the opportunity to sign a petition asking for Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Democratic-led legislature to pass a fair budget.

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“If people care at all about the quality of their education and what their money is paying for, they need to understand that things are going to change drastically in southern Illinois and at SIU without a budget,” Hurlburt said.  

Former Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon will also be present to address the crowd about her reflections on the stalemate, which has lasted nearly nine months.

“I think we’ve gotten a little complacent in this state thinking that things are going to keep working,” said Georgeann Hartzog, a member of the Peace Coalition. “We’d like people to really start putting some pressure on our legislators.”

Anna Spoerre can be reached at [email protected] or 618-536-3325. 

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