Missouri lawmakers have passed legislation that could patch a hole in the state budget for early childhood programs and health care for the blind.
A bill given final approval Friday would transfer $55 million from general revenues into a new fund to finance the programs. The move was necessary because the 2014 budget passed last week by lawmakers called for funding the programs with savings from the repeal of a tax break for low-income seniors and disabled residents who live in rental housing.
The Missouri State Senate has passed legislation that would eliminate tax breaks for low-income seniors and individuals with disabilities living in rental properties. According to Jessica Macy, the executive director of the Boone County Council on Aging, this tax break allows seniors to pay their bills and improve their quality of life.
“This is really money that really helps offset their everyday living expenses,” Macy said.
Macy said the tax break allows seniors to support local businesses by using their money to purchase necessities, such as groceries and prescriptions.