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Protesters Embark On 200-Mile March From Chicago To Springfield

The March To Springfield for a People & Planet First Budget departed from downtown Chicago yesterday. Ten people will walk the full 200-mile route, organizers say, with dozens more tagging along for a day. WBEZ’s Benjamin Payne reports.

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Illinois Budget Protest March

Demonstrators begin a march to Springfield, Ill., protesting the state’s budget crisis Monday, May 15, 2017, in Chicago. Organizers say the 200 mile trip is scheduled to take 15 days with about 100 going the distance.

Charles Rex Arbogast/AP

Protesters urging Illinois lawmakers to agree on an annual state budget stepped off on a 200-mile march to Springfield.

The March to Springfield got underway at noon Monday. Organizers say marchers range in age from 23 to 90.

They left the James R. Thompson state office building in Chicago’s Loop.

The march is organized by Fair Economy Illinois . It will proceed south along the Interstate 55 corridor .

March organizers estimate the protesters will average 13 miles (21 km) a day and arrive in Springfield May 30. That’s the day before the Legislature is scheduled to end its spring session.

Democrats who control the General Assembly have been at odds with Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner over an annual budget for two years.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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