Mo. House passes budget, cuts blind aid
The Missouri House has passed all 13 bills that make up the state’s $24 billion budget for FY 2013.
The process took longer than expected, because of the large number of Democrats who took issue with cutting funding to blind pensions and for not spending enough on K-12 schools. Sara Lampe (D, Springfield) urged fellow lawmakers to look for other ways to balance the budget besides cutting services.
“We could eliminate some of the $700 million a year in tax credits that do not bring jobs to Missouri or do not support social services," Lampe said. "We could enact the streamline tax collection to capture the millions in taxes on Internet sales that are already owed to the state but not paid for.”
Other Democrats voiced support for raising taxes, specifically, the state’s cigarette and corporate taxes. But Republicans objected.
“We promised we weren’t gonna do that, (and) we’re not gonna do that," said State Rep. John McCaherty (R, Murphy). "(If) we increase taxes, we lose business; (if) we increase taxes, people get unemployed…it costs the state more money in the long run.”
The state budget now goes to the Missouri Senate. State Senator Jason Crowell (R, Cape Girardeau) has threatened a filibuster over the use of federal money and other one-time fund sources to balance the budget.