Lawmakers Scramble to Pass Budget
Missouri lawmakers decided Wednesday who gets how much in a $20.8 billion budget that's up 8.6% from the current fiscal year.
Lawmakers earmarked $6 billion for Medicaid, $5 billion for the Department of Education, and $2.6 billion for MoDOT for roads. They also included a 4% raise for state employees.
"We are constrained to have a balanced budget in Missouri," noted Republican Rep. Ed Robb of Columbia. "So, if you'd like to spend a few dollars more in a particular area, you have to take them from someplace else."
Democratic Rep. Jeff Harris of Columbia said Missouri should tighten its purse strings.
"I think we need a more aggressive approach at looking at fraud or waste, inefficiency, in state government," he explained.
Now, the budget goes to Gov. Blunt for final approval, although he has the legal power to veto specific spending items in it. This session of the General Assembly ends at 6:00 p.m. Friday, May 12.