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.
The Missouri Senate passed a $24 billion state budget early Wednesday morning, following several hours of debate and closed-door negotiations. The Senate reversed the House’s gutting of a pension program for the blind.
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.
Budget writers in the Missouri House have approved their version of the 13 bills that make up the state's budget for next year. Committee members eliminated $28 million for a program that aids the blind, but then put 6 million back into it from another source.
A proposal to cut state funding to higher education would be devastating, according to MU Chancellor Brady Deaton.
Speaking on KBIA’s Intersection, Deaton said the 12.5% cut to MU’s budget would set the university’s state funding back to 1997 levels, despite having increased student enrollment by 50% in the time since. He says this would come on top of an already low record of state funding to higher education, with Missouri ranking lowest in terms of per capita funding among southeastern states.