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Mo. House committee begins work on FY 2011 budget

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Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio
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Mo. House Budget Committee.

By Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Jefferson City, Mo. – House budget writers have begun reviewing Missouri's proposed state budget for next year.

Early on, Republicans had criticized Democratic Governor Jay Nixon for relying on Congress to provide $300 million in federal funding to help underwrite the state budget. But House Budget Chair Allen Icet (R, Wildwood) is now relying on that $300 million as well.

"The last information I saw, it looks like Congress will actually pass that bill...I said I don't have a problem spending the money...I've always had a little bit of discomfort of when will the money actually show up, and the governor has always maintained that the money was there and that it would show up in time for Fiscal Year 2011, so as it turns out it looks like he is correct," Icet said.

Meanwhile, Icet wants to spend $66 million less on the Department of Social Services than what Governor Nixon proposed in January. The agency oversees portions of the state's Medicaid program and child welfare services.

State Representative Rebecca McClanahan (D, Kirksville) says she's especially concerned about cuts to the Children's Division that would impact those who report incidents of child abuse.

"I feel like the reduction in interaction from the Department of Social Services with those mandatory reporters is going to eventually impact the entire system," McClanahan said.

The House Budget Committee is expected to vote on all spending bills this week so the full House can debate and vote on the budget next week, before the end of March.

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