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.