Missouri Senate Committee Keep Education Funding

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JEFFERSON CITY - The Senate Committee meeting went well into Wednesday night, but it was able to keep the funding for higher education as proposed by the House. Under this budget plan, funding for elementary and secondary schools would increase, but fewer state employees would get pay raises.

The biggest problem with keeping the funding, however, is the committee would have to find other state programs to cut to get the budget down.

Senator Kurt Schaefer is confident he can cut the budget down nearly $60 million to make up for the education funding increase.

"On the offender healthcare increase, I wanna cut 1.9 million, it will go down to $6,400,020, and I wanna send a message to OH to redo that contract," Senator Schaefer said.

Last week the House proposed cuts to a healthcare funding for the blind but Senator Schaefer wanted to keep it.

The budget also wants to seek $9.5 million in federal grants to provide tuition assistance and job training to unemployed workers who already have some college education.

The budget will be about 24 billion dollars for the 2013 fiscal year beginning July 1st.

Lawmakers have until May 11 to send the spending plan to Gov. Nixon's desk.

The committee plans to continue the budget discussion tomorrow morning in another meeting and another meeting is tentatively scheduled for Friday morning.