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.”
This fatal wreck along Interstate 44 in March 2010 was caused by a driver who was texting. A state senator hopes this accident, and a federal recommendation, lead to a statewide ban on texting while driving.
A Missouri utility regulator is resigning next month from the Missouri Public Service Commission.
Jeff Davis said Friday his resignation from the commission would be effective Jan. 16. Davis joined the Public Service Commission in 2004 and served as the chairman from 2005 to 2009. His six-year term on the commission was expiring in April.
Missouri officials are predicting a 3.9 increase in state revenue in the next fiscal year.
The so-called consensus estimate of general state revenue for the budget year that begins in July was released Wednesday. The estimate predicts total revenue of roughly $7.6 billion in the 2013 fiscal year.
The estimate is calculated by state and outside experts and agreed to by the governor and key legislators. It's one factor in developing Missouri's next state budget.
Gov. Jay Nixon is scheduled to release his budget proposal in January.
The head of Missouri's Office of Administration is stepping down effective Feb. 1.
Gov. Jay Nixon announced Tuesday that Administration Commissioner Kelvin Simmons was leaving the position. In a resignation letter dated Monday, Simmons said he was pursuing an "opportunity outside of state government" but did not elaborate.
Legislation to be considered by lawmakers next year would require Missouri’s Attorney General to sue the federal government to enforce federal immigration laws.
The bill is sponsored by GOP Senator Will Kraus. He says whenever state or local authorities arrest someone who happens to be in the US illegally, the feds release that person about 60 percent of the time.
The original map had raised constitutional concerns because it divided rural Johnson County in western Missouri among two separate Senate districts. The county is represented in the Senate by Republican David Pearce of Warrensburg.
Two suits were heard jointly Thursday, one from St. Louis-area Democrats and the other from Kansas City-area Republicans. Both stated that the so-called Grand Compromise Map was geared to protect incumbents, and would weaken the political voices of St. Louis and Kansas City. Attorney Gerry Greiman represents the St. Louis area plaintiffs. He says they’ll appeal directly to the State Supreme Court.