Quinn to address joint session of Legislature; health care workers blocking access to the Illinois House - KMOV.com

Quinn to address joint session of Legislature; health care workers blocking access to the Illinois House

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Gov. Pat Quinn has suddenly scheduled a speech to the Illinois House and Senate for Tuesday afternoon, just hours before the state budget expires.

Quinn has been urging lawmakers for months to raise income taxes as part of a solution to the state's massive budget deficit.

But lawmakers have balked at that. So far, they have passed measures to slash spending on human services and to borrow money.

Even those steps wouldn't close the deficit completely, however.

The Democratic governor is likely to urge legislators to reconsider cuts that would hurt the state's poor and needy.

The new budget year begins at midnight, but officials are far from agreeing on a spending plan.

Meanwhile, eight health care workers blocking access to the Illinois House have been removed by Capitol police officers.

The home- and child-care workers are represented by the health care division of the Service Employees International Union. They sat down Tuesday at the House chamber's front door to convince lawmakers to vote for an income tax increase to end the budget crisis.

The protesters left willingly when approached by police officers, who escorted them to a basement room of the Capitol. Henry Haupt is spokesman for the secretary of state. He says the group was detained but has been released without charge.

SEIU Healthcare president Keith Kelleher says lawmakers need to prevent service cuts to seniors, child care and nursing homes.

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