The Missouri House has given first-round approval to the state budget for next year. As St. Louis Public Radio’s Marshall Griffin tells us, Republican leaders pushed through their plan to restore higher education cuts proposed by Governor Jay Nixon by refusing to fund a program for blind residents.
Democrats made an effort to restore funding for the blind by trying to de-fund new drug testing requirements for some low-income residents on state assistance. But the amendment failed on a mostly party-line vote. Democrat Sara Lampe of Springfield, who sponsored the amendment, called this year’s budget situation horrible.
“Not only do we have less money in the state budget, but we have a situation in which we have higher education funding against Medicaid services,” Lampe said.
GOP Budget Chair Ryan Silvey says they’re doing the best with what money they have, and that he’s no longer willing to cut money from higher education. The House is scheduled to vote again on the budget Thursday and send it to the Missouri Senate.