St. Louis Public Radio News
8:12 am
Thu March 12, 2009

State House committee finishes its work on 2010 budget

Jefferson City, MO – The House Budget Committee has passed Missouri's spending plan for Fiscal Year 2010.

The bills that cover Medicaid and social services were the most contentious of the 13 that make up the $22 billion spending plan.

Democrats on the committee, like Rachel Storch of St. Louis, continued to press colleagues to use federal stimulus dollars to expand health care access and services to the poor and vulnerable. "There's nearly a million dollars available," Storch said. "We could avoid all these cuts, and then some, what we feel are really cruel choices, when seniors are being left without food, babies are left to die, children are being left in situations where abuse can occur."

Budget chairman Allen Icet of Wildwood and other Republicans objected to using one-time federal stimulus dollars for ongoing expenses, saying it will create larger holes in future budgets.

The committee did spare two scholarship programs from cuts. Lawmakers say they were able to locate other sources of funding.

The full House will begin debating the budget in about two weeks.