Senate Committee Makes Changes to House's State Budget

Related Story

JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Senate appropriations committee passed a state budget Thursday, which is $86 million less than the House's state budget proposal.  The Senate made more changes including not raising higher education of public universities. 

The committee approved cutting $12 million for foster care programs, $3.1 million in state employee benefits, and $1 million in prison food services. 

There has been a lot of talk of what would happen to the health care programs for the blind who don't qualify for Medicaid.  The committee proposed a way to fund more than 2,800 people who don't qualify.  Instead of cutting over $28 million, the committee proposed having those people pay an $111 premium and a $600 deductible for insurance. 

Eugene Coutler, the president of the Columbia Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind, said this is only a small improvement.  In a letter sent to Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, Coutler said the plan is "totally unfair to those with smaller incomes."

Coutler also said he knows plenty of families who will struggle if this passes the Senate. 

A decision must be made before May 11.