House and Senate budget negotiators debating how to fund veterans' homes

May 4, 2012

House and Senate budget negotiators remain at an impasse on what’s become the main barrier to reaching an agreement: finding a way to fund veterans’ homes.

The House this week passed legislation that would fund veterans homes with gaming revenues currently designated for early childhood programs, and replace it with money from a tobacco settlement.  The Senate has so far refused to take up the measure.  House Budget Chair Ryan Silvey accuses Senate President Pro-tem Rob Mayer of playing games:

“It’s disappointing, it’s, you know, pick your adjective…some come to mind that I would probably not want my daughter to read in the paper,” Silvey said.

Mayer, meanwhile, has criticized both Silvey and Senate budget chair Kurt Schaefer for meeting behind closed doors.  The Senate has a similar bill which would also shift casino fees to veterans home, but it also contains a provision to cut off all state funding to the Sue Shear Institute for Women in Public Life at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.