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State

Dems: Budget deal would keep school funding level

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — House and Senate Democrats have agreed on a proposed Illinois budget that would keep education funding at the same level and increase human services spending.

Sen. Heather Steans is one of the Legislature's budget negotiators. She says Democrats will present their 2014 spending plan early next week, after which Republicans will get a chance to weigh in on it.

Gov. Pat Quinn proposed cutting education funding by about $400 million, a cut he said was difficult but necessary.

But Steans says unanticipated revenue increases helped restore that money. Democrats also want to reduce the amount of money that goes to local governments.

Rep. Greg Harris says new revenue also will be used to pay overdue bills to organizations that help the mentally ill, the developmentally disabled, the homeless and others.

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