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Monday, 24 March 2014 08:17
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri House is preparing to consider a proposed state budget that partly ties education funding to the strength of the economy.
House Majority Leader John Diehl says debate will begin this week on the budget for the next fiscal year. The plan endorsed by the House Budget Committee would add $122 million to the state's $3 billion in basic school funding. But if state revenues meet more optimistic projections, then it would provide a $278 million increase for schools.
The House plan would also bar universities from offering resident tuition rates to students living in the U.S. illegally.
The Republican-led committee rejected Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon's proposal to expand Medicaid eligibility to more lower-income adults. But its plan would restore adult dental coverage that was previously cut from Medicaid.
Monday, 17 March 2014 10:39
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri lawmakers are putting more money into the budget to try to speed up the results of newborn blood screenings.
A budget plan pending in the House would add about $150,000 for the state public health laboratory to conduct newborn screenings on Saturdays and have a courier service on Sundays.
The money was inserted into the budget last week by House Budget Committee Chairman Rick Stream, of Kirkwood. It's supported by House member Sheila Solon, of Blue Springs.
Solon cited research showing that Missouri ranks poorly in how quickly the newborn blood samples reach labs for testing. She told The Kansas City Star that she hopes the additional money can help speed up the process and potentially save lives. Missouri screens babies for 79 different health conditions.
Wednesday, 19 February 2014 14:12
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is criticizing House budget writers for not going along with his plan for constructing a new mental health facility at Fulton State Hospital.
The governor wants to issue $198 million in bonds for the facility. He asked lawmakers for $14 million in the current state budget for initial bond payments, but the House Budget Committee did not include those funds in its proposal.
Nixon said Wednesday that he is "sick and tired" of inaction on the hospital and that its current conditions were a threat to patients and employees. Lawmakers say the funds weren't needed in the current budget.
The hospital opened in 1851 and is the oldest public mental health facility west of the Mississippi River.