Missouri Budget Focuses on Education, Medicaid
JEFFERSON CITY - The formal release of the fiscal year 2014 budget revealed much of the state's money will go toward education and Medicaid, with money also going toward fixing up the state's only mental hospital, and refurbishing state parks.
Despite resistance from Republicans, Gov. Nixon will insist on expanding Medicaid. This is one of the largest items in the budget, raking in $907.5 million in federal funds to help pay for Medicaid coverage for 259,000 adults.
The Governor also says he will be insistent with reforming campaign finances. He says the current method of contributions going straight to candidate committees is "corrosive to democracy." If met with opposition, he will bypass the legislature and bring campaign finance reform to a popular vote.
Despite the Governor saying $134 million will be given to education, including nearly $109 million alone for K-12 classrooms, that amount is actually less than what was originally appropriated for fiscal year 2013.
When looking at the actual budget, approximately $715 million was appropriated in fiscal year 2013. However, the Governor is recommending only around $708 million for this year - a $7 million drop. Each public four-year university lost funding from FY 2013 to FY 2014.
Another item mentioned in the budget is the cutting of nearly 200 state jobs. Linda Luebbering says the jobs cut will be done mostly by attrition, in mostly the Family Support division and the Career Support division, with some actual layoffs coming from the Career Support division.
Lastly, more money will be laid aside to refurbish the state's only mental hospital, and to enhance Missouri's state parks, specifically adding more campsites and lodgings.