Missouri lawmakers have passed legislation that could patch a hole in the state budget for early childhood programs and health care for the blind.
A bill given final approval Friday would transfer $55 million from general revenues into a new fund to finance the programs. The move was necessary because the 2014 budget passed last week by lawmakers called for funding the programs with savings from the repeal of a tax break for low-income seniors and disabled residents who live in rental housing.
But Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed a bill repealing that tax break, because it was not part of a broader overhaul of Missouri's tax credit programs.
One of the programs in budgetary peril is the First Steps initiative for young children with developmental disabilities or delays.