They shouted "Show some guts!" and "Raise our taxes!" as they protested lawmakers' inaction on a tax hike to fix a $13 billion deficit. They want to avoid deep budget cuts that would hit education, law enforcement and services for young children, the elderly, the handicapped and the homeless.
The "Save Our State" rally Wednesday was organized by a coalition of more than 200 public-service organizations. The secretary of state's police estimated 15,000 people showed up.
Gov. Pat Quinn wants a 33 percent increase in the income tax, but House Democrats have been reluctant to back a hike. Minority Republicans have called for spending reductions.