Illinois State Budget
2:47 pm
Fri May 18, 2012

Democrats in Illinois Senate offer budget proposal

Will be updated. Reporting from Illinois Public Radio's Amanda Vinicky used in this report.

Democrats in the Illinois Senate are proposing a budget that would hold education spending flat and pay a chunk of the state's pile of overdue bills.

But doing that would require cuts to public safety and most other areas of government, as well as dipping into money set aside for special purposes.

Democratic Senator Dan Kotowski from Park Ridge says the budget proposal addresses citizens' wants.

“People want education funded," Kotowski said. "And they want us to get rid of waste and mismanagement and that’s what we’re doing.”

High-ranking senators outlined the plan Friday as the legislative session enters its most critical period. Officials are trying to reach deals on several thorny issues before May 31, when the session is supposed to end.

Senate Democrats say their plan cuts $317 million from the main category of state spending.

Like Gov. Pat Quinn's proposal, it would require closing facilities like prisons and cutting state jobs.

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