JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri House Democrats have been rebuffed again in their attempts to expand a state children's health care program in a midyear spending bill.
The House gave first-round approval Wednesday to a $133 million state supplemental budget.
The additional spending covers extra expenses for health care, education and fuel costs. Gov. Jay Nixon also proposed adding $7.4 million to expand the State Children's Health Insurance Program that provides coverage to children whose families earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but cannot afford private insurance.
House Republicans cut that and blocked several Democratic efforts to restore the money. Republicans contend midyear budget additions are to cover unexpected expenses, not to expand state programs.
"The governor offered a reasonable proposal to improve medical care for Missouri children, which is even more vital as growing numbers of parents lose their jobs and insurance coverage for their families," said House Minority Leader Paul LeVota, in a statement. "The continuing refusal of House Republicans to undo the damage they’ve done to health care access for Missouri children is unconscionable."