SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- 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.
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.