2015 budget

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The Missouri Lottery says it expects to save about $700,000 a year with a vendor contract finalized amid criticism that the agency is funneling too little money to education.

The Lottery Commission on Thursday approved a seven-year contract with Rhode Island-based GTECH Corp. to provide computer gaming systems and related services.

The governor's budget office has been examining why the lottery had record sales in the latest budget year but transferred less money to schools.

As promised, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed on Tuesday the wide-ranging school transfer bill passed by lawmakers this year, saying it violates basic principles of public education and does nothing to help students trapped in unaccredited schools.

At the offices of Education Plus in west St. Louis County, the governor listed three main reasons for his action.

missouri capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Missouri's budget concerns are continuing to mount.

Attorney General Chris Koster's office says the state cannot count on receiving $50 million of tobacco settlement proceeds in time to be used during the 2015 budget year that starts July 1.

Missouri Capitol
j.stephenconn / Flickr

Missouri lawmakers are poised to give final approval to a state budget that could restore Medicaid benefits that were cut a decade ago.

House and Senate budget negotiators have finalized the 12 remaining bills that make up Missouri's state budget for Fiscal Year 2015.

Both sides signed off on increasing funding for K-12 schools by $114.8 million. If Gov. Jay Nixon's rosier revenue projections hold true, school spending would get a $278 million spending hike. Higher education would increase by $43 million, about 5 percent. State Rep. Rick Stream, R-Kirkwood, chairs the House Budget Committee. He said they also put money in next year's budget to help finance a new state mental hospital at Fulton.

state capitol
Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

The state Senate's budget chief says there are no plans to revise Missouri's financial projections despite a recent decline in tax revenues.

The Missouri Senate has so far passed five of the 13 bills that make up the state budget for next year.

It'll be a busy week for Missouri lawmakers as they enter the homestretch of the 2014 regular session.

First, the Missouri Senate is scheduled this evening to begin debates on the 13 bills making up the state budget, and they may actually try to pass them all tonight, according to Appropriations chair Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia.

Senate floor at the Missouri Capitol
File / KBIA

A Missouri Senate committee is preparing to consider the final sticking points to conclude its work on the state's operating budget.

The Missouri House has given first-round approval to next year's state budget -- after spending most of Tuesday on amendments to the FY 2015 budget, including two attempts to expand Medicaid.  Both failed, and both were sponsored by state Rep. Jill Schupp, D-Creve Coeur.

House budget writers have passed Missouri's state budget for Fiscal Year 2015, which begins July 1.

The roughly $28 billion spending plan still includes a funding increase for the state's K-12 schools, which would be around $122 million if projections by House and Senate Republican leaders turn out to be correct.  If Gov. Jay Nixon's rosier revenue picture turns out to be correct, then K-12 spending would increase by $278 million.

fotos GOV/Baq / flickr

 Gov. Jay Nixon is defending his plan to issue $198 million of bonds for a new maximum and intermediate security facility at the Fulton State Hospital.

The governor wants to pay off the bonds through annual legislative appropriations. He is proposing to set aside $14 million this year and an additional $14 million in the 2015 budget for the initial bond payments. Nixon touted the plan Thursday at City Hall in Fulton.

File Photo / KBIA

Missouri lawmakers responsible for the budget have an agreement on a revenue estimate for next year but say Gov. Jay Nixon did not sign off on it. 

Legislative budget leaders and the governor typically reach a revenue estimate that is the foundation for the budget. Agreeing how much money is available lets officials focus on how to spend that money.