Lawmakers, governor at odds on how to spend $80 million
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri's governor faces a showdown with the Legislature over an unexpected budget windfall.
The state had set aside $80 million last year to fund the Children's Health Insurance Program when federal funding was in danger. But now that federal funding is guaranteed for the near future, three competing visions have emerged over what to do with the remaining money.
Republican Gov. Eric Greitens wants to pump more money into rural Missouri, using all of the available funds to invest in broadband access, water initiatives and other projects. The House Budget Committee Chairman wants to use the surplus to restore some of the higher education cuts the governor proposed earlier. The Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman wants to restore all of the cuts.
Lawmakers will start making budget decisions later this month.