Governor Jay Nixon (D) has signed Missouri’s $23 billion budget for the next fiscal year into law – but he’s also slashed $172 million from the spending plan that takes effect July first.
Nixon says the cuts are needed not only to keep the state budget balanced, but to also help cover storm damage costs.
“We first obviously went through resources that didn’t exist, and then made the necessary trimmings across state government to put this budget in line," Nixon told reporters today at the State Capitol.
The cuts include nearly $17 million from state universities and community colleges. Budget Director Linda Luebbering says the University of Missouri System and Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph will undergo slightly larger cuts than the state’s other four-year schools.
“Those two have additional resources available, due to tuition increases, and so we are restricting an additional one percent," Luebbering said. "They’ll be able to make that up with the additional tuition revenue.”
The total also includes $100 million in continued cuts to college building projects funded with money from Missouri's student loan authority (MOHELA). Funding for school buses in Missouri will undergo an $8 million cut, and college scholarships will be cut by $3 million.
Nearly $14 million will be cut from the state’s Medicaid system. Luebbering says, though, that’s due to lower demand for services, and that there won’t be any reduction in services rendered or any cuts made to reimbursements.
Several programs were zeroed out, including area health education centers and the state’s film office.
Nixon says some of the cuts could be reversed if Missouri’s revenue picture improves.