Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 5:50 pm
Days before a budget crisis deadline will hit the U.S. economy, President Obama says, "I'm optimistic we may still be able to reach an agreement that can pass both houses in time."
The details of that agreement, which could avert automatic spending cuts and tax increases that are set to take effect on Jan. 1, would likely come from discussions between Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).
Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka estimates a $1 billion impact on the state budget if automatic federal spending cuts and tax increases take effect.
Topinka sent out a release Friday detailing the impact on the Illinois budget if Congress and President Barack Obama don't prevent the federal government from going over the fiscal cliff. Topinka says the fallout from the fiscal cliff could push Illinois into recession. Topinka estimates Social Security and income tax increases would lower Illinois tax revenues by up to $500 million.
The chair of Missouri's House Judiciary Committee is proposing reductions in the state's public defender system.
Republican State Representative Stanley Cox of Sedalia says public defenders would still handle the most serious cases for indigent defendants, but the more minor cases would be bid out to private attorneys.
Cox says this would address the caseload issues public defenders have long complained about.
Wealthy Republican donors started Christmas early.
Somewhat uncharacteristically, GOP donor David Humphreys donated $25 thousand to Democratic Governor Jay Nixon on Friday.
Humphreys is the head of a Joplin based roofing company and usually donates exclusively to Republicans – in fact, he donated about 1 and a half million dollars to conservatives and conservative organizations just this year.
Nixon was the only major Democrat Humphreys supported.
Governor Jay Nixon (D) is voicing opposition to House Republicans’ plans to allow teachers in Missouri to carry guns in classrooms.
In a letter to the state’s public school superintendents, Nixon says the proposal would put children at risk and take away the authority of local school districts to keep guns out of classrooms. Scott Holste is the governor’s Press Secretary.
Gov. Jay Nixon's administration is bolstering his plan to expand Missouri's Medicaid program with an analysis estimating that it could save the state money in the near future.
Figures released this past week by Nixon's budget office show Missouri could see a nearly $47 million increase in general revenues during the first year of the Medicaid expansion in 2014. That boost in state revenues would grow to nearly $140 million in 2016 before beginning to decline.