Missouri senators trying to target budget cuts at the agency that issues driver's licenses may have instead blocked funding for the registration of boats and mobile homes.
The Senate passed a budget plan late Monday that eliminates the entire $3.5 million allotment for the Motor Vehicle and Driver Licensing Division.
During debate, senators said the proposed cut could halt the issuance of driver's licenses. They described it as negotiating leverage to get additional information from state officials about the data collected from driver's license applicants.
Missouri senators are considering a roughly $25 billion budget plan that may be most notable for what it doesn't contain.
Senate debate on the budget is scheduled to begin late Monday, with some of the most agreeable items up first. Those include a $66 million increase in basic aid for public schools and a $34 million increase for public colleges and universities.
Missouri senators have endorsed a plan that could provide $15 million to Joplin to rebuild street curbs and gutters that were damaged as a result of the 2011 tornado.
The bill given initial approval Wednesday would fund disaster recovery projects by redirecting money from other areas of state government. Among the entities that would lose money are the state insurance department and an agency that helps finance health and educational facilities.
The Missouri House has backed a tax credit overhaul that is sharply different from a Senate version. A bill given initial approval 120-31 Wednesday night would set much higher caps than the Senate on the amount of tax credits that can be approved annually for the renovation of historic buildings and development of low-income housing.
Unlike a bill passed previously by the Senate, the House version would combine several existing business incentives into a new program with greater flexibility for state economic development officials to award tax credits.
The Missouri Senate has passed a proposed constitutional amendment that would guarantee farmers' rights.
The legislation originally would have barred voters from passing initiatives that would infringe on farmers' rights. But that portion was removed after opposition from senators concerned about blocking the petition process.