Thu March 18, 2010
Missouri House Debates Budget Late Into The Night
Jefferson City, Mo. – The House Budget Committee spent nearly four hours Wednesday night amending and voting on bills that make up the state budget.
Committee members only made it through about a third of the budget bills before calling it a night.
House Budget Chair Allen Icet says so far they've identified 65 million dollars that can be trimmed from various departments.
"None of these should affect any services or anything. For the most part, it was either lapse, or funding that would be considered excess," says Icet.
Icet also says he's still working to provide full funding to Missouri's K -12 schools, but Democrat Rachel Storch of St. Louis, who also sits on the committee, says that may not be possible.
"If we go forward with that level of funding in the bill, the budget will not be balanced. It's simply not fair to schools, to administrators and teachers and students to give them the expectation of funding that we may not have next year."
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has recommended boosting K-12 funding by $18 million, but the increase would need to total $105 million in order for Missouri's public schools to be fully funded.
House budget writers plan to go through the rest of the state budget Thursday so it can be debated and voted on by the full House next week.