St. Louis Public Radio News
9:26 pm
Thu March 18, 2010

Mo. budget passes House committee

Jefferson City, Mo. – The House Budget Committee has passed the 13 bills that make up Missouri's state budget for next year. But the cuts made this week don't cover a projected funding shortfall.

Governor Jay Nixon says about half a billion dollars needs to be sliced from his original budget proposal made in January. The House Budget Committee, however, cut no more than $90 million before adjourning for the week.

Chairman Allen Icet (R, Wildwood) says more cuts may come next week when the budget hits the House floor.

"My guess is we need to trim approximately $200 million from the bills as they stand...so I would say by the time the bills are voted off the House floor, we'll probably approach $100 million," Icet said.

Icet adds that any additional cuts would have to come from the Missouri Senate.

Democrats on the House Budget Committee, including Rachel Storch of St. Louis, tried unsuccessfully to block Republicans from boosting K-12 funding by $106 million.

"Nobody wants to make cuts to our schools...it's a top priority for this governor, I think it's probably a top priority for every legislator in the House, but we may just not have the funding this year," Storch said.

Governor Nixon is seeking to increase public school funding by only $18 million.