By Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio
Jefferson City, Mo. – Governor Jay Nixon has announced more cuts to Missouri's state budget, due to the ongoing decline in state revenues.
The governor is slashing nearly $204 million out of the FY2010 budget. Almost 700 state jobs are being eliminated, nearly 500 of which are part-time.
Nixon says the cuts don't include reductions to classroom funding, scholarships, or to crucial public safety needs.
"We will not be shutting down a prison, or eliminating Highway Patrol Troopers from our roads or Water Patrol officers from our waterways," Nixon said.
Nixon also says there'll be no reductions to Medicaid eligibility. However, Medicaid payments to some health care providers will be reduced, and the state will no longer take new non-Medicaid clients for some mental health services.
The cuts also include $20 million for maintaining state buildings, about half of the budgets for arts, humanities and public broadcasting, and nearly the entire budget of the Life Sciences Research Board.
Linda Luebbering is the governor's Budget Director.
"The budget situation this time is above and beyond (what) the state has experienced in decades...this is the worst I have ever seen, and I have worked in state budgeting for probably about 20 years," Luebbering said.