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Missouri budget

Morning headlines: Thursday, May 5, 2011

May 5, 2011

On Second Anniversary of Murders, Coleman Jury Deliberates

The jurors in the Christopher Coleman triple murder trial will begin a second day of deliberations. Coleman, a former Marine, is accused of strangling his wife and two sons in order to advance a love affair and protect his job working for Joyce Meyer Ministries.

Jurors began deliberating Wednesday, Day 8 of the trial. The defense opened their case Wednesday morning and called two witnesses: a handwriting expert and a forensic linguist.

Mo. budget stalled on education, social services

May 2, 2011
(via Flickr/jennlynndesign)

Will be updated.

Funding for education is being pitted against aid to the elderly and disabled as Missouri lawmakers attempt to negotiate a final version of the state budget.

Negotiations stalled shortly after they started Monday because of a disagreement among House and Senate members about how much Missouri can afford to spend in the fiscal year that starts July 1.

At issue are the amounts of money going toward public school busing, colleges and universities, in-home care providers for the disabled and prescription drug aid for seniors and the disabled.

Morning headlines: Monday, May 2, 2011

May 2, 2011

Osama bin Laden is Dead

Missouri lawmakers are reacting to the news that the mastermind of 9-11 has been killed by US Forces. In a statement, Republican Senator Roy Blunt calls Osama bin Laden’s death a major victory for America. Missouri’s Democratic Senator, Claire McCaskill, calls bin Laden’s death quote “justice delivered.”

The Missouri Senate has passed the state budget for next year.

The Senate’s $23.2 billion spending plan cuts the state’s higher education budget by 4.8 percent, and provides an additional $20 million for school bus funding.  Kurt Schaefer (R, Columbia) sponsored the budget bills in the Senate.

Mo. House passes $23B budget for next fiscal year

Mar 30, 2011
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Missouri’s state budget for next year has been passed by the State House

The $23 billion spending plan for Fiscal Year 2012 holds current K-12 funding levels in place while cutting funds for higher education by seven percent.

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri House has started debating the $23 billion state budget for next year.

The tone of the debate continues to be mild, with Democrats holding the view that there’s not much money to fight over.

Morning headlines: Monday, March 21, 2011

Mar 21, 2011
(via Flickr/jimbowen0306)

  • Missouri Senate President Pro Tem Rob Mayer says he is looking for around $500 million of savings in the state budget over the next several years. Missouri's Legislature is not in session this week because of its annual spring break. But Mayer says he nonetheless will be meeting with Senate budget-writing staff to try to identify changes that can save the state money. Mayer is a former chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. He gave little indication of what he is looking to cut. But Mayer did note that a gubernatorial commission has identified potential savings by restructuring and paring back the state's tax credits. Senate Majority Leader Tom Dempsey says the chamber is expected to take up a package of tax credit changes when lawmakers return from their break.

  • University of Missouri curators head to Rolla to determine the qualifications for the system's next president. The two-day meeting beginning Monday at Missouri University of Science and Technology follows several statewide public forums by a 20-member advisory panel that will help curators choose the new president. Curators are looking to replace Gary Forsee, who retired in January to care for his ill wife. Former general counsel Steve Owens is the interim president but is not interested in the permanent job. Campus leaders expect the presidential search to last most of this year. Curators will craft a statement on the desired qualifications of the four-campus system's next leader based in part on public comments from the statewide meetings.

  • The state of Illinois' decision to eliminate the death penalty means about three dozen state employees will soon be out of work. The (Decatur) Herald & Review reports that State Appellate Defender Michael Pelletier began notifying about 37 employees in his office on Friday that their jobs are being eliminated. That's because Gov. Pat Quinn abolished the death penalty earlier this month and commuted the sentences of the 15 men on death row. Most of the employees being cut are lawyers who handled death penalty cases. The reduction will save about $4.7 million.

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

The House Budget Committee has quickly wrapped up work on Missouri’s state budget for Fiscal Year 2012.

The process of voting 13 budget bills out of committee is often raucous and can take several days to do.  This year, it only took an hour, with each budget bill passing overwhelmingly.

Tune in tonight! Illinois Annual Budget Address

Feb 16, 2011

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn gave his annual state budget address today in Springfield.

Join us tonight at 7 p.m.  for a broadcast the full address on 90.7 FM or online here.

You can also follow along and read the full text of the Governor's address here.

So far, here are some reactions to Quinn's budget:

Mo. finances up, but cuts remain

Jan 13, 2011

Missouri's finances are improving, but Gov. Jay Nixon's administration remains reluctant to reverse spending cuts affecting public schools, college scholarships and other services.

Nixon sets State of State for Jan. 19

Jan 4, 2011

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon plans to deliver his annual State of the State speech on Jan. 19.

The speech is given each year in the House chamber before a joint legislative session. Governors use the speech to outline their priorities, highlight past polices and present their proposed state budget.

Policymakers estimate that Missouri is facing a $500 million budget deficit.

Nixon's speech is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.

Read last year's state of the state address here for some perspective on where Missouri was on the issues a year ago.

Chuck Berry
Bill Greenblatt | UPI | file photo

  • A funeral is scheduled for Thursday for a soldier from Ste. Genevieve who died in Afghanistan. 25 year-old Sgt. Michael J. Beckerman was assigned to the 101st Airborne at Fort Campbell in Kentucky. The army says he died Dec. 31 in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of wound suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvsed explosive device. Beckerman arrived at Fort Campbell in January 2010. He joined the Army in September 2004.

Missouri's decline in state income may be coming to an end. The figures released today by state Budget Director Linda Luebbering show that state government saw a slight uptick in revenue collections for August, compared to a year ago: $594 million last month, compared to $589.5 million a year ago.

Although up only $4.5 million, the 0.8 percent increase comes after close to two years of monthly declines -- many of them in double digits.

Missouri's monthly income numbers continued their decline in July, but state Budget Director Linda Luebbering says the 4.2 percent drop -- compared to July 2009 -- was not unexpected.

"We're actually about right on track," Luebbering said in an interview today.

The current state budget, for the fiscal year that began on July 1, is based on an annual income increase of 2.3 percent. But Luebbering said said that budget crafters "knew we were going to start the year in the negative."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 19, 2008 - Harris-Stowe warns that it would have to shut down. Missouri State University in Springfield says it would lose the equivalent of funding for an entire college at the university, and Truman State says it would have to eliminate 208 faculty and staff jobs. And the largest public university in the state, the University of Missouri system, which includes UMSL, says it would have to get by with 1,400 employees fewer or raise tuition by as much as 27 percent. 

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec.2, 2008 - Governor-elect Jay Nixon said Wednesday that he would impose a temporary freeze on long-term state contracts for goods and services, and  conduct thorough reviews of state capital projects and tax credits in an effort curtail state spending in order to address Missouri's growing budget problems.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 1, 2008 - Warning that the economic downturn could hurt state spending commitments in the current fiscal year as well as the next, several groups are fanning across Missouri this week to call attention to the growing money crisis and to try to find answers as well.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: November 14, 2008 - Gov.-elect Jay Nixon hasn't backed away from his big-ticket campaign promises of restoring health benefits and boosting spending for higher education, but some of his political wishes might have to take a back seat to Missouri's fiscal reality.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: November 6, 2008 - When U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., ran for governor against Matt Blunt in 2004, she wound up regretting that she'd paid too little attention to rural voters in the state. She swamped Blunt in urban areas, but he beat her by about 3 percentage points because he carried rural Missouri by a landslide.

Governor-elect Jay Nixon didn't make that same mistake.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 13, 2008 - Missouri's higher education board is shooting for a milestone next year. If state lawmakers honor all the board's spending requests, funding for core higher education programs would surpass the $1 billion mark for the first time in state history. The actual amount requested is $1.03 billion for these basic programs. Current spending is $960 million.