Missouri’s state budget for next year has received first-round approval by the State House.
As promised, Republican leaders defunded a program that aids blind Missourians and used the money to erase Governor Jay Nixon’s proposed cuts to Higher Education.
House Budget Chairman Ryan Silvey told the chamber he’s no longer willing to cut money from Missouri’s universities and community colleges:
“We’ve cut education in Higher Ed for the last several years, and I’m done, I’m done with that," said Silvey. "Now if in this process, maybe the Senate can find a way to restore some funding that doesn’t come from education, then I’m all ears and we’ll talk about that in conference.”
House Democrats attempted to restore funding for the blind program by trying to defund new drug testing requirements for some low-income Missourians on state assistance. But the amendment failed mostly along party lines.
All 13 budget bills need one more vote by the full House before moving over to the State Senate – that’s scheduled to happen Thursday.