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Nixon to cut FY 2011 budget

file photo: UPI/Bill Greenblatt

By Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Jefferson City, Mo. – Missouri Governor Jay Nixon is planning to cut about $350 million from next year's state budget, which was approved during the legislative session that ended last week.

The cuts are being made, in part, because of bills that failed to pass that would have eliminated two state holidays, reduced size of the Department of Revenue's Alcohol and Tobacco division, and others.

Budget Director Linda Luebbering says lawmakers also made financial assumptions that cannot be counted on.

"Like lower Medicaid caseload growth, use of federal money in ways that really can't be used...that accounts for about $55 million of it," Luebbering said. "So $90 (million) of it from legislation that didn't pass, (and) 55 (million) from assumptions that were built into (lawmakers') budget (proposals)."

The continued drop in state revenues is also being blamed for the additional cuts.

Rob Mayer (R, Dexter), chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, says they've already cut more than $450 million from the spending plan the governor proposed in January.

"We took the lead, even after Governor Nixon had delayed until March, realizing that his budget was dramatically out of balance," Mayer said. "It's difficult to know just exactly how the economy's going to perform, so at this time it's difficult to know how much should be reduced."

Luebbering says they don't know yet which agencies and programs will be cut, but they plan to announce their decisions by mid-June.


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