Illinois Senate Democrats are pushing through a state budget proposal. Three measures passed Wednesday on partisan votes. Republicans complained the plan spends too much and uses tricks to stay within expected revenue of about $34 billion. They say Democrats are rushing a plan to get a jump on the House in setting the budget agenda. Chicago Democratic Senator Heather Steans sponsored two of the measures. She says the budget is balanced, avoids cuts to elementary and secondary education, and keeps some facilities open that Governor Pat Quinn has said the state must close. The measure assumes $2.7 million in Medicaid cuts Quinn says is needed. But negotiations over those cuts and changes to pension programs continue.
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