Democrats in Illinois Senate to offer budget plan

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Democrats in the Illinois Senate plan to spell out their ideas for getting the state through its latest budget crisis.

Senate Democrats are promising a proposal based on "tough, practical" decisions. They say it will fund basic government priorities while paying down old bills, cutting costs and reducing spending.

The plan is supposed to be released Friday afternoon.

Illinois faces rising pension and Medicaid costs on top of billions of dollars' worth of unpaid bills.

Governor Pat Quinn proposes cutting retirement benefits for government workers, slashing Medicaid services and payments and raising the cigarette tax. That would be in addition to spending cuts in most agencies.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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