Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 5:38 pm
Republican leaders in the Missouri House have scrapped the budget being proposed by Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat. Instead they will use last year's budget bills as a starting point for crafting their fiscal year 2015 spending plan.
House Budget Chair Rick Stream, R-Kirkwood, says their budget bills contain none of the governor's spending proposals for the fiscal year (FY2015) that begins July 1.
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.
A Missouri Senate panel is preparing to begin drafting its plan for the roughly $25 billion state operating budget.
The Senate Appropriations Committee has scheduled hearings throughout the week to begin work on the budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1. The panel is also scheduled to consider the budget for the state Revenue Department, despite recent tensions between the department and Republican senators over new driver's license procedures.
Missouri has tapped a state reserve fund for cash flow purposes for the second consecutive month. The Office of Administration said Wednesday the state has borrowed $100 million from the Budget Reserve Fund, the same amount borrowed the previous month. The funds must be repaid by next May 15.
Missouri State Budget Director Linda Luebbering says the reserve fund can be used if monthly revenue collections do not meet monthly expenditures.
Administrators of Missouri universities and social services programs may soon learn whether their budgets will be cut for the upcoming year. Governor Jay Nixon plans to announce today whether he is making any reductions to the state's budget and, if so, which programs will be targeted.