The Missouri House has given first-round approval to a plan that would cut the amount of money available for state lottery prizes to increase funding for state-run veterans homes.
The legislation would reduce lottery prize funds by about 3.5 percent and put the money toward early childhood education programs that currently get funds from the Missouri Gaming Commission. Gaming Commission money now used for early childhood education would instead go to veterans' homes.
The Missouri House took only an hour to debate and pass the state's budget for next year. The $23 billion spending plan holds K-through-12 spending in place while cutting higher education funding by seven percent. The full Missouri House is scheduled to take up the state budget the week of March 28th, right after lawmakers return from spring break.
A task force focused on rural Missouri crime has recovered more than $2.5 million worth of stolen property in the past year and a half.