St. Louis Public Radio News
5:54 am
Tue December 9, 2008

Mo. programs hope to avoid budget cuts

Jefferson City, MO – Representatives from several state agencies and programs traveled to the Missouri State Capitol today, to ask lawmakers not to cut their respective budgets.

With less revenue due to the ongoing economic crisis, the chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee warns that some programs may get fewer tax dollars.

Burt Malone with the Kansas City Health Department hopes to persuade the committee to increase funding for local public health agencies from $8 million to nearly $27 million.

Malone says not getting the increase will hurt patients.

"Clearly there will be cases of communicable disease, of chronic disease, that could be prevented, that won't be prevented," Malone said.

Rob Mayer (R, Dexter), a Senate Appropriations Committee member, indicates the final say on any budget cuts won't come until after Governor-elect Jay Nixon presents his spending plan.

"It's always difficult to tell people that their funding might be reduced because obviously there's a lot of need out there and a lot of good programs, but what you have to do is prioritize and take the money that the taxpayers send you and spend it appropriately," Mayer said.

Those testifying included supporters of public transit, who asked for a funding increase five times more than what they're currently getting.