Ryan Silvey

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

In the wake of a possible approximately 12.5 percent cut in higher education funding for fiscal year 2013, and ongoing discussion of tuition hikes and job cuts across the University of Missouri system in response, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has announced an a

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Missouri's legislative budget leaders may not go along with Gov. Jay Nixon's proposed cuts to public colleges and universities.

Nixon has proposed a 12.5 percent reduction to higher education institutions for the next academic year.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Kurt Schaefer said Wednesday he does not intend to follow Nixon's recommendation. The Columbia Republican says the cut would be a huge blow to higher education.

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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.” 

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

The Missouri House has given first-round approval to a proposed constitutional amendment that would require all tax credits to undergo a regular review process.

If it succeeds, each tax credit would have to be voted on by the full General Assembly every four years.  The resolution is the House’s alternative to expiration dates for tax credits favored by the Missouri Senate.  It’s sponsored by House Budget Chair Ryan Silvey (R, Kansas City).

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Updated 5:14 p.m.

The Missouri House has passed its version of a wide-ranging tax credit bill.

It does not place expiration dates, or sunsets, on historic preservation and low income housing tax credits, as demanded by the Senate.  Instead, House GOP leaders hope to mollify the Senate with a new proposal:  All tax credit programs would come up for review every four years and be subject to a renewal vote by the General Assembly.  The measure is sponsored by House Budget Chairman Ryan Silvey (R, Kansas City).

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Today was the Republican-led Missouri General Assembly’s annual veto session, but neither chamber made any attempt to override any of the 14 vetoes issued by Democratic Governor Jay Nixon this year.

However, House Budget Chairman Ryan Silvey (R, Kansas City) used the occasion to blast the governor for withholding money from various state agencies.

(UPI/Tom Uhlenbrock)

Two bills have been filed in the Missouri House regarding the use of the state’s so-called Rainy Day fund.

The first would authorize $150 million to be used to match FEMA expenditures on tornado and flood damage across the state.  The second bill would set up a joint House-Senate committee to oversee the use of Rainy Day funds for natural disasters.

They’re sponsored by House Budget Chairman Ryan Silvey (R, Kansas City).  He wants Governor Jay Nixon (D) to expand the call of the special session to include both bills.

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Updated 4:25 p.m. with comments from Mo. House Budget Chairman Ryan Silvey (R, Kansas City), who also oversees an interim committee looking into complaints against SynCare.

The State of Missouri is taking over the duties of SynCare, an Indianapolis-based company which won a contract in February worth as much as $5.5 million a year to determine whether thousands of Missouri Medicaid recipients qualify for home-based medical services or help with daily chores. 

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Missouri’s state budget for next year has been passed by the State House

The $23 billion spending plan for Fiscal Year 2012 holds current K-12 funding levels in place while cutting funds for higher education by seven percent.

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri House continued its swift work today on the $23 billion state budget, giving it first-round approval after only a few hours of debate.

But before doing so, lawmakers removed most of the money they had allocated for Governor Jay Nixon’s travel budget.

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