Governor Nixon proposes 2016 state budget

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JEFFERSON CITY - Described as "modest'" by Missouri's budget director, Governor Jay Nixon proposed a $26.1 billion budget for the 2016 budget year, a decrease from last year's $27.6 billion proposal.

According to State Budget Director Linda Luebbering, the 2016 budget year is expected to see strong economic growth in terms of increases in jobs and income.

Luebbering said the governor's budget proposal reflects his top priorities, which include education, welfare and healthcare.

She said state government could see a potential downsizing, as estimated 217 positions will be eliminated and vacant positions will not be filled to avoid layoffs.

Luebbering said agencies with less people will have to adjust to the workload.

REVENUE

Missouri's expected general revenue is $8.8 billion. 34 percent of Missouri's revenue is general revenue collected from income taxes and other miscellaneous taxes, while federal money and other fund sources make up the remaining 66 percent.

36 percent of the revenue could go to elementary and secondary education. Human services is recommended to receive 30 percent. 

EDUCATION & WELFARE

Elementary and secondary education are recommended to receive a $150 million increase.

Nixon proposed $11 million for preschool education for low-income families, and $5 million for early childhood education.

Funding for higher education increased as well.

$161.5 million in bond proceeds could be used to repair colleges and univeristies facilities. $4 million is proposed to increase scholarships for students through programs like the A+ Program and the Access Missouri scholarships.

HEALTHCARE

Medicaid expansion was a controversial issue in the General Assembly last session but a proposed expansion plan was not passed.  

If an expansion plan does pass during this session, the federal government would pay all of the cost associated with the expansion. Federal government assistance will gradually decrease and according to Nixon's proposal, the state could save $111.3 million by 2023.

Nixon also proposed $43 million for developmental disabilities and $14.9 million for foster care services.

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