Missouri House Passes 2013 Budget

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JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri House of Representatives passed all thirteen bills comprising the state's FY 2013 budget Thursday. The $24 billion budget is 4 percent higher than the 2012 budget.

Most of the bills attracted little debate, but the house spent more than an hour debating whether the budget for elementary and secondary education did enough for St. Louis schools. Rep. Dwight Scharnhorst, R-St. Louis, said too much money was being sent to St. Louis schools for too little gain. He said teachers in the district put their financial gain ahead of their students' academic peformance. Rep. Karla May, D-St. Louis, said it was unfair to try to compare St. Louis schools to schools anywhere else in the state because of the district's demographics. She said unemployment, homelessness and other issues impact students in St. Louis to a greater extent than they do elsewhere in the state.

Other bills the house passed Thursday include legislation preventing employers from prohibiting employees from keeping firearms in their personal vehicles, affirming the right to raise livestock for human consumption, and establishing a renewable energy pilot program for state parks.