St. Louis Public Radio News
2:04 pm
Tue January 28, 2003

Holden Threatens Cuts to Education

Jefferson City, Mo. – Missouri's Governor says sparing the state's schools any more painful budget cuts will be difficult if lawmakers don't approve his plan to fix this year's budget.

Democrat Bob Holden is threatening $259 million in cuts to public schools. Holden says the cuts can be avoided only if lawmakers allow the state to sell bonds against a share of its future tobacco settlement proceeds. That bond sale would generate about $350 million for this year's budget, which runs through the end of June.

Public schools have avoided all previous budget cuts. But a Holden spokeswoman says other agencies can no longer bear the cuts. Holden also is threatening another round of budget cuts to higher education if lawmakers don't approve his plan.

The governor is to discuss the cuts today at a meeting of the Missouri School Boards Association.