Mo. House budget chair not pleased with blind pension cut reversal

Apr 26, 2012

The budget chairman for the Missouri House is not happy with the Senate’s decision early today (Wednesday) to restore 28 million dollars for blind pensions.  An amendment by GOP Senator Jim Lembke of St. Louis County reversed the cut that the House wanted to use for Higher Education.

Republican Ryan Silvey authored the original cut, stating that the pension program is for blind residents who have too much money to be on Medicaid.  He calls the Senate’s actions puzzling.

“Senator Lembke was one of the so-called gang of nine, which was chest-thumping about cutting government, by the time Senator Lembke offered his amendment, by his own numbers admitted that it put the budget $7 million dollars out of balance,” Silvey said.

Silvey added that it may not have been necessary to cut pensions to the blind if Lembke and his co-horts had not threatened to filibuster the tax amnesty bill as part of their opposition to the use of one-time monies in the state budget.  The House is expected to reject the blind pension restoration when negotiators work on the final version of the budget.