Negotiators working on a final version of Missouri's budget are taking a wait-and-see approach dependent on a new funding plan for veterans' nursing homes.
A conference committee of House and Senate members convened briefly Thursday, but only to say they are not going to meet further until the Senate takes action on the veterans' legislation.
The House passed a bill Wednesday that would provide a dedicated funding stream for Missouri's financially strapped veterans' homes.
It would shift casino fees that currently go to early childhood programs to instead benefit veterans' homes. Instead, early childhood programs would be funded with money from a nationwide tobacco settlement.
The $24 billion budget plan for next year assumes that the veterans' homes will receive a new funding stream to replace general revenues.