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   A Missouri House panel is moving ahead with a two-tiered budget that makes education funding partly dependent on the strength of the economy.  

   A plan endorsed Wednesda) by the House Budget Committee would add $122 million to the state's $3 billion in basic school funding. If state revenues meet Governor Jay Nixon's more optimistic projections, the House budget would provide a $278 million increase for schools - still less than Nixon wanted.  

   The House plan would also bar the universities from offering resident tuition rates to students living in the U.S. illegally.

Published in Local News
   JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - For the first time in a decade, Missouri's top officials can't agree on how much money will be available for the state budget.
   Governor Jay Nixon plans to use a larger revenue projection than lawmakers when he proposes a budget as part of his annual State of the State address January 21st.
   Nixon says he is "optimistic" about Missouri's economy.
   Republican legislative leaders say they are being "realistic."
   Nixon's revenue projections could be about $140 million higher than lawmakers'.
   Legislators already are planning to make cuts to Nixon's budget plan because of the different revenue assumptions.
   The disagreement marks a reversal of recent circumstances in which Nixon has repeatedly cut the budgets passed by lawmakers while asserting that he's being realistic about the state's finances.
 
Published in Local News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri lawmakers are considering changes to the governor's authority over the state budget.
The discussion comes after budget disputes in recent years. Most recently, Gov. Jay Nixon froze $400 million in the current year's spending plan, while citing concerns lawmakers would override his veto of a tax cut.
The veto was sustained and all but $134 million for capital improvements has since been released.
Republican House member Todd Richardson plans to propose a constitutional amendment for the annual legislative session starting next week. Richardson says he wants governors to have the ability to restrict spending when it is needed to keep the budget balanced, while also protecting the Legislature's power to decide how funds are spent.
Nixon says Missouri governors' current tools for managing the budget are needed.
Published in Local News

   JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Republican senators have made it clear that there will be no Medicaid expansion in Missouri this session.

   The Republican-led Senate voted down a Democratic attempt Monday night to insert $890 million of federal funds into Missouri's budget to expand Medicaid eligibility to an estimated 260,000 lower-income adults.

   The vote was just the latest in a series of similar defeats in the Missouri Legislature for the Medicaid expansion backed by Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon and called for under President Barack Obama's health care law.

   But this vote carried a bit more weight. That's because it ensured that neither the Senate nor the House version of the budget includes the Medicaid expansion. Under legislative rules, negotiators cannot insert money into the final budget that wasn't in either chamber's plan.

 
Published in Local News
Thursday, 14 March 2013 04:27

MO lawmakers renew charitable tax credits

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri lawmakers have given final approval to a bill that would renew tax credits for charitable causes but end them for international adoptions.

The legislation sent Wednesday to Gov. Jay Nixon would reinstate tax credits for food pantry donations that expired in 2011 and for donations to pregnancy resource centers and child advocacy centers that expired in 2012.

It also renews tax credits for surviving spouses of deceased public safety officers and for people who improve their homes to be accessible to the disabled.

But the bill halts state tax credits for people who adopt children from other countries or other states. It keeps adoption tax credits in place only for Missouri children with "special needs."
Published in Local News

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