House passes half-billion dollar increase to Missouri budget

2 years 4 months 23 hours ago Thursday, March 17 2016 Mar 17, 2016 Thursday, March 17, 2016 4:52:14 PM CDT March 17, 2016 in News
By: The Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The House has voted to send a supplemental budget bill to the Senate that calls for nearly $500 million more in spending this year.

Lawmakers voted 139-7 Thursday to approve the adjustment to Missouri current $26 billion budget. Most of the new spending will go to Medicaid, which the state is legally required to fund.

Higher drug prices have been the biggest factor driving costs, and caseload has also grown.

House Speaker Todd Richardson said the current trend of Medicaid growth will bankrupt the state. He said lawmakers have been working on solutions, pointing to a proposal to hire a private company to find waste and fraud in Missouri's Medicaid and welfare programs.

Democrats said the state would shoulder fewer costs if Republicans accept federal funds to expand Medicaid.

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