A Democratic leader in the Missouri House is praising the version of the state budget approved by the Senate last week, especially its restoration of most of the $8.7 million cut from the University of Missouri system in the House version.
Rep. Gail McCann Beatty (D-Kansas City) joined KCUR's Statehosue Blend podcast and told host Brian Ellison that she thinks the Senate's version of the $27.2 billion budget is more fair than the one passed by her House colleagues weeks before
"It felt like we were trying to punish the university, and the only people we were really going to punish at the end of the day were the students that attend that university," said Beatty.
Beatty is the ranking Democratic member on the House Select Committee on the Budget, and she'll be part of the conference committee with the task of reconciling the House and Senate budget bills. She said she hopes that the Republican House representatives will budge on the system cuts in the final budget.
"There will be a series of negotiations back and forth, and it may end up that we meet somewhere in the middle," said Beatty.
The Senate's budget also attempts to tackle Missouri's increasing health care costs by reducing funding for Medicaid.
Beatty thinks the Senate budget wrongly targeted Planned Parenthood by banning any Medicaid dollars from going to abortion service providers, despite the fact that state money is already prohibited from funding abortions.
Planned Parenthood's Patty Brous Health Center is located in Beatty's district in Kansas City. She said that center provides basic health care for women at an affordable price.
"When did we start dictating where people need to go for their healthcare?" asked Beatty.
Under state law, the final deadline for passage is May 6, and the new budget would go into effect July 1.
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- Rep. Gail McCann Beatty, (D-Kansas City), Missouri House of Representatives
- Connor Stangler, economic development, Overland Park Chamber of Commerce