Mo. State budget
3:59 pm
Wed March 21, 2012

Crowell threatens to derail state budget approval over one-time monies

One day after the Missouri House gave first-round approval to the state budget, a state Senator is threatening to derail the entire budget process.

Jason Crowell (R, Cape Girardeau) is objecting to the use of one-time sources of money to plug holes in the FY2013 budget.  He singled out both Democratic Governor Jay Nixon and House GOP leaders for plans to divert $40 million from a federal mortgage settlement to the state’s Higher Education budget.

“By eliminating pensions for blind people and taking this one-time $40 million that we haven’t received, we have no clue when we’re going to get it, somehow that’s going to restore the $91 million dollars in (cuts to state universities)," Crowell said from the Senate floor.

Crowell promised to launch filibusters against any use of one-time fund sources to shore up the state budget unless the Senate considers a radical overhaul to the systems that oversee tax credits, prisons and state pensions.  He’s also promising to block bills that would sweep money from special state funds into general revenue and that would give the Department of Revenue new powers to garnish funds from bank accounts of tax delinquents.

“I have had it with us not doing the right thing by setting up and addressing how we structurally fit these things," Crowell said.

Crowell also blasted the Senate Appropriations Chairman, Kurt Schaefer (R, Columbia), accusing him of not wanting to reform tax credits and of taking orders from GOP consultant David Barklage.  He made those comments during debate over a proposed constitutional amendment that would  give Missouri more time to reimburse the state's Budget Reserve Fund (a.k.a., Rainy Day fund).

Crowell's floor speech and argument with Schaefer can be heard by clicking on the audio player above.