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Lawmaker Calls On Gov. Nixon To Preserve Dental Benefits In State Budget

Mo. House Communications

A Missouri lawmaker is calling on Gov. Jay Nixon to preserve dental benefits for Medicaid recipients in next year's state budget when he signs the $26.4 billion spending plan into law later this month.

State Rep. Sue Allen, R-Town and Country, chairs the committee that oversees budget writing for the three state agencies that handle Medicaid spending -- the departments of mental health, health and senior services, and social services.

"I would encourage anyone who really cares significantly about the adult dental (program) to communicate to the governor's office, and beyond, to spread the word," Allen told committee members Monday in Jefferson City.

Lawmakers restored Medicaid benefits covering dental services, along with physical, occupational and speech therapies when they passed the fiscal year 2015 state budget last month.  Those benefits were eliminated in 2005 by former Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt, a Republican.

Nixon, a Democrat, and the GOP-led legislature have clashed every year over various budget items, and each year Nixon has announced several cuts and delayed expenditures on the same dates that he signed the budget into law.  He has until June 30 to take action on the 13 bills that make up Missouri's budget.  

His office has not yet commented on Allen's statement.

Follow Marshall Griffin on Twitter:  @MarshallGReport

Marshal was a political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio until 2018.

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