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Tue March 20, 2012
Mo. House debates Alzheimer's funding, budget
The Missouri House is debating all 13 bills Tuesday that make up the state’s proposed budget for next year. Lawmakers are offering up several amendments to the budget – one in particular would have shifted 150-thousand dollars from the state’s biodiesel fund to Alzheimer’s patients. It was sponsored by Independent House Member Tracy McCreery of St. Louis County.
“Missouri spends more than 150 million annually in Medicaid dollars to care for people with dementia and Alzheimer’s in nursing homes," McCreery said. "An investment of another 150 thousand dollars for alzheimer’s service grants that provide respite care assistance could potentially save Missouri millions in Medicaid nursing home costs.”
The amendment was voted down, mostly along party lines. Republican John Cauthorn Audrain County said that the state needs to honor its agreements with the biodiesel industry, but he also told McCreery that if she had come to him earlier they might have been able to find 150 thousand for increased Alzheimer’s funding. House leaders plan to give first-round approval to all 13 budget bills before the end of the day.