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Governor signs $21.5 billion state budget

(UPI file photo/Bill Greenblatt)

By Marshall Griffin, KWMU

Jefferson City, Mo. – Missouri's budget for the next fiscal year has been signed into law. Governor Matt Blunt's spending plan includes more money for Medicaid, public schools and the state's bio-diesel fund.

He also used the line-item veto to eliminate two provisions, including $156,000 to cover parking expenses for public defenders.

Democratic Senator Joan Bray of St. Louis sponsored that item and was not happy to hear it had been vetoed.

"I think it's a totally unnecessary cynical move on the part of this governor to say to public defender attorneys who are way overworked, that they have to pay for their parking, but other state employees don't," Bray said.

But Blunt spokeswoman Jessica Robinson said state law mandates that parking fees for public defenders be covered by individual counties, not the state.

The new budget year begins Sunday.


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