Mo. lawmakers focusing on federal issues

Jefferson City, Mo. – Republican leaders in the Missouri General Assembly are devoting time and attention to federal issues, in addition to regular state business.

Following Monday's session of the State Senate, Majority Floor Leader Kevin Engler (R, Farmington) expressed concerns over the potential cost of federal health care legislation, and how it could impact Missouri's budget.

"We're going to have to cut education, if this happens...there will be no other question, we will have to cut education...you take $250 million to a billion dollars out of our budget, if you have that kind of adverse implication...we'd have to do something," Engler told reporters.

Republican leaders from both the State Senate and House are expected Wednesday to announce plans to oppose federal health care and energy legislation.

Senate Minority Floor Leader Victor Callahan (D, Independence) says the GOP is getting ahead of itself.

"(They're) reacting to something that may or may not exist...we've got to look out for this universal health care public option for everyone...does that still exist? I mean, I've read that states can opt out in the U.S. Senate's version...that's just one body's version," Callahan said.