The Americas

Police in Rio shoot tear gas during protest over budget cuts

  • Demonstrators tear down a barrier outside the state of Rio de Janeiro's legislative assembly building, where lawmakers are discussing austerity measures in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016. The state of Rio de Janeiro is mired in a fiscal crisis, and thousands of state employees have not been paid, or have been paid months late. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

    Demonstrators tear down a barrier outside the state of Rio de Janeiro's legislative assembly building, where lawmakers are discussing austerity measures in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016. The state of Rio de Janeiro is mired in a fiscal crisis, and thousands of state employees have not been paid, or have been paid months late. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)  (The Associated Press)

  • Demonstrators run amid tear gas fired by police outside the state of Rio de Janeiro's legislative assembly building, where lawmakers are discussing austerity measures in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016. Brazil is suffering its worst recession in decades while the state of Rio de Janeiro is mired in a fiscal crisis, and thousands of state employees have not been paid or have been paid months late. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

    Demonstrators run amid tear gas fired by police outside the state of Rio de Janeiro's legislative assembly building, where lawmakers are discussing austerity measures in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016. Brazil is suffering its worst recession in decades while the state of Rio de Janeiro is mired in a fiscal crisis, and thousands of state employees have not been paid or have been paid months late. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)  (The Associated Press)

  • Demonstrators kneel before police outside the state of Rio de Janeiro's legislative assembly building, where lawmakers are discussing austerity measures in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016. Brazil is suffering its worst recession in decades while the state of Rio de Janeiro is mired in a fiscal crisis, and thousands of state employees have not been paid or have been paid months late. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

    Demonstrators kneel before police outside the state of Rio de Janeiro's legislative assembly building, where lawmakers are discussing austerity measures in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016. Brazil is suffering its worst recession in decades while the state of Rio de Janeiro is mired in a fiscal crisis, and thousands of state employees have not been paid or have been paid months late. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)  (The Associated Press)

Military police in Rio de Janeiro are shooting pepper spray at demonstrators protesting austerity measures.

The demonstrators have pushed over a barrier fence outside the state of Rio de Janeiro's legislative assembly building, where legislators are discussing the measures.

The federal government sent hundreds of military police to help Wednesday after a similar protest last week became violent.

The state is mired in a fiscal crisis. Thousands of state employees have not been paid, or have been paid months late.

The federal government says it won't bail the state out, fearing a cascade of states that could ask for help.

Brazil is suffering its worst recession in decades.

Measures being discussed by Rio legislators include trimming social services and lowering the salary of top officials.