Illinois Senate Democrats announce their budget proposal

May 18, 2012

City Room

Illinois lawmakers are trying to iron out a budget by the end of the current session, which ends May 31st.

On Friday, Democrats in the state Senate proposed a budget that cuts spending almost across the board, with the exception of education. 

Democratic State Senator Dan Kotowski, who represents Park Ridge, said that's what constituents want. "People want education funded, and they want us to get rid of waste and mismanagement. And that's what we're doing," Kotowski said.

Senate democrats announced the proposal would reduce the state's deficit by cutting in areas like public safety. Their plan would mean closing state facilities - like prisons - and cutting state jobs.

The plan also assumes huge cuts to Medicaid that Governor Pat Quinn is pushing.

The proposal comes during the final stretch of the current legislative session, as state legislators are trying to tackle the issues of the soaring costs of state pensions and Medicaid. Democratic leaders said their proposal spends less than Governor Quinn's original proposal. They said their plan cuts $317 million from the main category of state spending.

State Republicans have responded saying the Democrat's proposed budget still calls for too much spending.

"This will not get us on the path to reducing the tax increase,” Republican Sen. Matt Murphy said. “It will put us on a path, frankly, for needing another.”