One day after the Missouri House gave first-round approval to the state budget, a state Senator is threatening to derail the entire budget process.
Jason Crowell (R, Cape Girardeau) is objecting to the use of one-time sources of money to plug holes in the FY2013 budget. He singled out both Democratic Governor Jay Nixon and House GOP leaders for plans to divert $40 million from a federal mortgage settlement to the state’s Higher Education budget.
The Missouri House is debating all 13 bills this afternoon that make up the state’s proposed budget for next year.
Lawmakers are offering up several amendments to the budget – one in particular would have shifted $150,000 from the state’s biodiesel fund to Alzheimer’s patients. It was sponsored by State Rep. Tracy McCreery (I, Olivette).
A tight budget has forced East St. Louis to lay off seven more employees, leaving the city's police officers without a support staff.
The Belleville News-Democrat reports that the latest layoffs include Police Chief Michael Floore's secretary, the department's director of community programs and a records room employee responsible for logging all of the city's tows.
The city also cut employees in the mayor's office, the city clerk's office and the city treasurer's office.
Governor Jay Nixon (D) has released an additional $5 million withheld from this year’s K-12 and Higher Education budgets.
The Nixon Administration says $3 million of the withheld funding will help keep school buses on the road, while just over $2 million will go toward universities and community colleges. Budget Director Linda Luebbering says the move was made because state lottery sales have been better than expected.
Missouri's revenues continue to be behind what is needed to balance the budget. January's figures show that net state revenues grew two percent over the same month last year.
The fiscal year began in July. For the first seven months of the 2012 fiscal year, Missouri's general revenues were up 1.3 percent. That is almost half the 2.7 percent growth rate that the governor's budget office says is needed to meet the budget.