It's crunch time for lawmakers as legislative session comes to a close

2 months 2 weeks 1 day ago Monday, April 30 2018 Apr 30, 2018 Monday, April 30, 2018 7:49:00 PM CDT April 30, 2018 in News
By: Stephanie Sandoval, KOMU 8 Reporter
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JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri's legislative session ends in three weeks, but lawmakers have less than that to finalize and approve the 2019 State Budget.

Lawmakers have until May 11 to send the budget over to the governor's desk for him to sign.

If they fail to do so, Gov. Eric Greitens can call lawmakers into a special session during the last week of regular session. 

House Budget Chairman Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick, R-Shell Knob, said he is confident the state legislature will meet the deadline. 

Fitzpatrick said the biggest difference between the Senate's recommendations and the House's recommendations is in the education funding portions. 

"The difference between the two proposals is that ours in education focuses on fully funding the foundation formula," Fitzpatrick said. 
The foundation formula was established by law and outlines how much each school district gets per student. While the House funded it fully, the Senate took money out. 
"Theirs puts more of a focus on funding transportation costs in school districts, so I think there's a little bit of difference there," Fitzpatrick said. 
Rep. Kid Kendrick, D-Columbia, said the House is putting more money toward K-12 education. 
"And so we're going to do everything we can do hold the House position when we go to conference committee," Kendrick said. 
Rep. Greg Razer, D-Kansas City, said he's happy to see they didn't take funding out from higher education. 
"We made it a priority not to do that this year, now that doesn't mean all is well for the University of Missouri or any of our state institutions. They're still hurting badly from the previous year's cuts, but at least we didn't kick them while they were down this year," Razer said.
Fitzpatrick said the state will not go into a government shutdown because appropriations last until June 30. A public conference on budget recommendations will either be held later this week or sometime next week. 

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