Missouri lawmakers will be trying to plug a half-billion-dollar gap in next year's budget when they convene their 2012 session on Wednesday.
State budget director Linda Luebbering says much of the hole is due to a reduction in federal money, such as stimulus funds and Medicaid payments. However, State Senator David Pearce (R, Warrensburg) suggests that that number is not set in stone.
“There are predictions anywhere from $400 to $900 million, (that could) be our shortfall for this upcoming year," Pearce said. "How do you fill that? It’s gonna be tough.”
Missouri tax revenues have increased this year but are falling short of what was expected in the state's budget.
The state Office of Administration reported Friday that state revenues through November increased 2 percent, to $2.84 billion from $2.78 billion last year. So far, sales tax collections are up 3.4 percent but corporate income taxes are down 10.7 percent.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon says he's monitoring the situation in Washington, following the so-called congressional supercommittee's failure to reach an agreement on reducing the nation's debt. He admits it's possible that the lack of action by Congress could impact Missouri's state budget next year:
"The uncertainties that you have in this job about the dollars coming in are very real…if they fail to reach the continuing resolution to move things forward by the end of the year is something we're looking at, to measure what that would do to the state," Nixon said.
Updated with comments from Schweich, statement from Nixon.
Missouri state auditor Tom Schweich has released a report that is sharply critical of Gov. Jay Nixon's decision to withhold $172 million from the current budget to help the state cope with a series of natural disasters.
University of Missouri officials plan to make big cuts to an investment program in order to balance the books after a surprise cut in state funding.
The UM System says the Enterprise Investment Program’s budget will drop from $5 million to less than $3 million. UM System Vice President for Finance and Administration, Nikki Krawitz, said the year-old program helps bring University research and inventions to the marketplace.
Gov. Jay Nixon will sign the 2012 budget for the state of Missouri - and cuts to the $23 billion spending plan are already in the works.
The governor said two weeks ago he would have to cut at least $113 million. Much of that is due to unplanned expenses from the Joplin tornado and flooding in southeast Missouri. More cuts could be necessary as the state is now also responding to floods along the Missouri River in the northwest corner of the state.