St. Louis Public Radio News
3:30 pm
Thu May 8, 2003

Coalition Says State Budget is 'Headed for Train Wreck'

St. Louis, Mo. – Clergy, teachers, students and small business owners gathered at Union Station in St. Louis Thursday to protest cuts in Missouri's budget.

The group says the state budget is headed for a "train wreck" and is urging Democratic Governor Bob Holden and Republican House Speaker Catherine Hanaway to compromise.

Father Emery Washington of Metropolitan Congregations United says lawmakers should boost revenue instead of just making cuts.

"A reasonable revenue plan should reflect a tightening of the government's financial belt, nevertheless, it must also include cutting corporate tax loopholes," Emery said.

The group says raising the casino loss limit and cigarette tax are other solutions to balance Missouri's $19 billion budget. The state constitution requires lawmakers to pass a budget by Friday, May 9.