Final Week of MO Legislature's Spring Session
By Tom Weber, KWMU
St. Louis, MO. – Missouri lawmakers have one week left in their spring session, and two top Republicans are touring the state to call on Governor Bob Holden to sign the budget that was sent to him last week.
House Speaker Catherine Hanaway and Senate President pro tem Peter Kinder were in St. Louis Sunday. Kinder says spending levels that lawmakers passed are only 2% below what Holden proposed in his budget plan.
I don't think the case can be made that these cuts are terribly deep," the Senate leader said. "I don't think the cuts we've been forced to make are throwing vulnerable people out in the snow."
The governor says he will not hesitate to use his veto power if he feels the plan undermine the state's economic future.
Kinder says if Holden vetoes the budget and calls lawmakers back to Jefferson City, they'll just pass the same budget again.
House Speaker Catherine Hanaway says that budget is $150 million out of balance; she says lawmakers will work this week to find the money to fill that gap.
The speaker adds the budget includes painful cuts, but blames past Democratic control of the Legislature for overspending.
"It's as though there's been a party going on for 48 years, folks have woken up and handed us the bill," Hanaway said. "In trying to pay that down and restructure state govenrment there are some sacrifices that are going to have to be made that wouldn't be our first choice."