St. Louis Public Radio News
6:52 am
Thu March 19, 2009

Democrats continue offensive against GOP budget

St. Louis, MO – Democratic state lawmakers are continuing their public relations offensive against a state House budget proposal they say makes "cruel and unnecessary" cuts.

They hope the publicity encourages residents to protest the decision by House Republicans to cut health care and other social services instead of funding them with stimulus dollars. "It's fiscal insanity," said Senator Jeff Smith of St. Louis. "What pains me is to know that the dollars that could be helping children here in Missouri, working adults, seniors, and people with disabilities, those dollars are being spent in other states."

The Democrats say they are putting their hopes on Governor Jay Nixon to stop the Republican budget plan. State Representative Tishaura Jones, also of St. Louis, says the process in the House is under the tight control of chairman Allen Icet, a Wildwood Republican.

"So we have to have faith in the process that when the budget does go over to the Senate that our colleagues in the Senate will try and restore some of the cuts and make health care affordable and available for working families and for children," she said. "And also the governor's veto power is really what we're standing on at this point."

Republicans have a veto-proof majority in the Senate, but not the House. They say using one-time federal funds for ongoing expenses is fiscally irresponsible.