St. Louis Public Radio News
6:23 am
Tue March 24, 2009

Mo. lawmakers pass supplemental budget

Jefferson City, MO – The Missouri House has sent a $312 million supplemental budget to Governor Jay Nixon, but without a children's health care program he had wanted.

House Budget Chairman Allen Icet (R, Wildwood) says the Medicaid expansion sought by the governor didn't belong in the supplemental budget.

"It is intended to take existing programs where we actually have an appropriations shortfall, and put enough money in so we can pay the bills, for example, (the) price of fuel for (the) Highway Patrol," Icet said.

Governor Nixon wanted more funding for a program that covers health insurance costs for kids lacking private coverage and whose parents make too much money to qualify for Medicaid.

Scott Holste is the governor's Press Secretary.

"In order to have a robust economy, one of the things you have to have is a healthy populace, and that certainly includes healthy children...if children are home sick, that means parents aren't able to work as much," Holste said.

Holste also says the administration will work to include the children's health care program in the state budget bills for Fiscal Year 2010.

The Missouri Senate passed the supplemental budget earlier.

Meanwhile, the supplemental bill gives MoDOT clearance to spend federal stimulus dollars on highway projects after they've been deposited into newly-created state accounts.

Lawmakers created the accounts to track how the money will be spent.