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Mo. budget deficit in 2012 estimated at $600 million

file photo: UPI/Bill Greenblatt

By AP/Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Jefferson City, MO – As Missouri's current budget year begins, there's word that next year's projected budget is already $600 million short.

The estimate comes from Governor Jay Nixon's Office of Administration. Budget Director Linda Luebbering says the biggest contributor to the shortfall will be the loss of about $860 million in federal funding

"The largest portion of it is reimbursement to the state for its Medicaid spending; the other is targeted specifically to education," Luebbering said.

But Luebbering added that any budget cuts made next year would not solely target education and Medicaid.

Are we looking at reductions across most areas of state government? Yes," Luebbering said. "At this level, it's simply not gonna be feasible to take big chunks of state spending and say, 'those won't be reduced.' So it will probably be fairly broad."

Meanwhile, state agencies are being instructed not to include money for construction and building repairs in their departments' budgets, unless the projects have a dedicated funding source.

A memo from Nixon's administration tells departments to consider the $280 million in program cuts announced last month to be permanent, and that any mandatory spending increases must be offset with cuts elsewhere.

The 2012 budget year begins in July 2011.


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