St. Louis Public Radio News
9:17 am
Fri June 6, 2003

Missouri House Passes Revised Budget

Jefferson City, MO – The Missouri House Thursday night passed a revised budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

The budget bills passed along mostly party lines. One of them adds about $86 million to education above what was originally passed by the Republican-led Legislature last month. To pay for funding increases this new budget would cut about 540 state jobs.

Leaders refused to consider Democratic Governor Holden's proposed tax increases. And his plan also is expected to fail in the Senate, where budget work of the special session resumes on Monday.

Democrats say if the state doesn't ask voters to raise taxes on targeted groups, many local school districts will have to seek their own property tax increases just to keep functioning.

With the new budget, House leaders claim $310 million in unspent federal money and employee-reduction savings is left, and could help fill any shortfall.

But Democratic lawmakers claim Governor Holden will have to withhold the higher education funding to cover a shortfall.