Tue January 5, 2010
Budget Focus Of Missouri 2010 Session
Jefferson City, MO – Missouri lawmakers return to Jefferson City on Wednesday, January 6. They will spend much of their time working on a new state budget and addressing a shortfall in Missouri's current spending plan.
The latest estimates show a $200-million shortfall in the budget that comes to an end on June 30. The projections for the budget that would begin on July 1 show an $800-million shortfall.
State Representative Brian Munzlinger (R-Clark County) says the shortfalls are linked to a 6% drop in revenue this year and a 7% decrease last year. He says the sharp decline in revenue will likely mean drastic cuts throughout state government.
"I would look for more state workers," says Munzlinger, "or at least their positions to come under the axe."
Munzlinger says MODOT is one department where cuts could still take place without drastically impacting services.
State Senator Wes Shoemyer (D-Monroe County) does not believe drastic cuts will be needed. He says Missouri will be able to use federal stimulus money to backfill the shortfalls in the current and upcoming state budgets.
Munzlinger and Shoemyer both say education should be the top priority when crafting Missouri's upcoming budget. They also say agriculture funding should also remain in place due to its impact on the economy.
Governor Jay Nixon is scheduled to deliver his State of the State Address on Wednesday, January 20. Missouri lawmakers will start working on Nixon's proposed budget after the address.