Thursday, May 07, 2009

Stimulus Helps Prop Up $23 Billion Dollar Budget

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri lawmakers have passed a $23 billion budget that relies on federal stimulus money to help fund schools, colleges and various other state services.
Missouri's operating budget for the 2010 fiscal year is propped up with about $785 million from the stimulus package.
The great majority of the federal funds would go toward Missouri's basic funding formula for K-12 schools, freeing up state money to be used elsewhere.
But the budget also uses stimulus money for a variety of smaller projects - to repair a state airplane, help pay college tuition of National Guard members and cover the rising cost of paper for the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
The budget also includes money for an expansion of health care, contingent upon lawmakers later working out the details.
"From fully funding the foundation formula to establishing the Caring for Missourians program, this budget also gives us many of the tools we need to create a more educated and skilled workforce. On the issue of health care, however, the legislature’s work is far from done. I look forward to going through this budget line by line to ensure that in these challenging economic times, we have a state government that taxpayers can afford," Nixon said.

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