Missouri budget

Mo. State budget
7:26 pm
Tue May 1, 2012

No "binding" for the Missouri Senate on budget negotiations

Mo. Capitol
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

The Missouri Senate took the next step Tuesday toward beginning final negotiations with the House on next year’s state budget.  But Senate members struggled with whether to bind themselves to various positions they support.

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Mo. State budget
7:04 pm
Mon April 30, 2012

Mo. House rejects Senate budget

Mo. Capitol
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

The Missouri House has rejected 12 of the 13 budget bills passed last week by the State Senate.

The move was part of the normal procedure for preparing for final budget negotiations.  However, some House members took the opportunity to criticize the Senate for cutting more than $3 million from the state’s tourism budget.  State Rep. Don Ruzicka (R, Mount Vernon) urged House Budget Chairman Ryan Silvey (R, Kansas City) to try to get the cut restored.

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Mo. Gov. Nixon/state budget
2:02 pm
Mon April 30, 2012

Nixon urging lawmakers to fund blind pensions, veterans' homes before session ends

Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

With three weeks left in the legislative session, Governor Jay Nixon (D) is urging lawmakers to fund veterans’ homes, pensions for the blind and other specific needs in the still-unfinished state budget.

Nixon told reporters today that nursing homes for military veterans are woefully underfunded in next year’s $24 billion spending plan, and that a separate bill needs to be passed to insure a dedicated funding source for the homes.

“Missouri’s veterans’ home(s) provide critical services for thousands of men and women who have served our country with honor and bravery," Nixon said.  "Let me be clear, that bill must get to my desk without delay.”

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Mo. budget/blind pensions
6:19 pm
Wed April 25, 2012

Silvey calls restoration of blind pensions by Mo. Senate puzzling & hypocritical

Mo. Rep. Ryan Silvey (R, Kansas City)
(Tim Bommel/Mo. House communications)

The budget chairman for the Missouri House is not happy with the Senate’s decision early Wednesday morning to restore $28 million for blind pensions.

An amendment by State Senator Jim Lembke (R, Lemay) reversed the cut that the House wanted to use for Higher Education.  State Rep. Ryan Silvey (R, Kansas City) authored the original cut, stating that the pension program is for blind residents who have too much money to be on Medicaid.  He calls the Senate’s actions puzzling.

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Mo. Senate passes budget
3:08 am
Wed April 25, 2012

Missouri Senate passes state budget, restores blind pensions

Mo. Capitol
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

The Missouri Senate passed a $24 billion state budget early this morning, following several hours of debate and closed-door negotiations.

The Senate spending plan for FY2013 directly challenges the Missouri House's position on blind pensions.  By a narrow margin, Senators restored $28 million in state funding cut by the House last month, while leaving in $18 million in federal Medicaid dollars.  Senate Appropriations Chairman Kurt Schaefer (R, Columbia) says they now have more room to maneuver when negotiations with the House begin on the final version of the budget.

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Mo. State budget
12:03 am
Wed April 11, 2012

Mo. Sen. committee proposes fix for blind pensions

iPad photo of Mo. Sen. Appropriations Committee meeting on 4/10/2012.
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Budget writers in the Missouri Senate have crafted a proposal designed to preserve funding for blind pensions.

The plan announced by Senate Appropriations Chairman Kurt Schaefer (R, Columbia) would use $18 million in federal Medicaid money to create a new blind pension health care fund.

“We’re gonna add language that everyone in that program has to go through Medicaid eligibility, so that we determine who is Medicaid eligible and who’s not…that’s the first threshold," Schaefer said.  "The second is we’re gonna put in language to establish a premium.”

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Morning Round-up
9:28 am
Thu April 5, 2012

Morning headlines: Thursday, April 5, 2012

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Good morning! Here are a couple of the stories we've followed this morning to get you started:

Relatives of teen killed by police want answers

Relatives of a 15-year-old boy shot and killed by St. Louis County police are disputing police claims that the teen had a gun when he was shot. The shooting happened Tuesday night in the Glasgow Village area of north St. Louis County.

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Missouri Budget
10:59 am
Wed April 4, 2012

Mo. Senate budget plan spares education, but cuts state worker pay hikes

An interior view of the Missouri Capitol dome.
(via Flickr/jimbowen0306)

Budget hearings have begun in the Missouri Senate, and already there are notable differences with the House in where that chamber wants to make cuts.

While the House budget would give state workers earning less than $70,000 per year a two percent raise, the Senate version would limit those raises to workers making less than $45,000 per year.  Kurt Schaefer (R, Columbia) chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee.

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Missouri State Budget
5:36 pm
Wed March 28, 2012

Nixon proposes use of Medicaid money to restore benefit cuts for blind

The dome shines brightly on the Missouri State Capitol as the sun begins to set in Jefferson City, Missouri on March 22, 2011.
UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says his administration has identified some additional federal money that could help avoid cuts to a program that provides health benefits to the blind.

Nixon's administration said Wednesday that most of the additional $18 million of federal Medicaid money could be used to restore the blind benefit cuts included in a budget plan passed by the House.

Mo. State budget
3:13 pm
Thu March 22, 2012

Mo. House passes budget, cuts blind aid

An inside look at the Missouri Capitol.
(via Flickr/david_shane)

The Missouri House has passed all 13 bills that make up the state’s $24 billion budget for FY 2013.

The process took longer than expected, because of the large number of Democrats who took issue with cutting funding to blind pensions and for not spending enough on K-12 schools.  Sara Lampe (D, Springfield) urged fellow lawmakers to look for other ways to balance the budget besides cutting services.

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