The Missouri House has passed legislation that could provide an earmarked funding stream for state-run nursing homes for military veterans.
The measure approved Wednesday by the House would redirect casino fees that currently go to early childhood education to instead go to veterans' homes. Early childhood programs then would be funded with money from Missouri's share of a nationwide settlement with tobacco companies.
The bill still must pass the Senate before it can go to the governor.
House Budget Committee Chairman Ryan Silvey says the legislation is an important step to resolving differences between the House and Senate on the state's proposed $24 billion operating budget for next fiscal year. That budget plan assumes veterans' homes will receive a new source of earmarked funding to avoid a potential financial squeeze.