Tue January 18, 2011
Budget hearings begin in the Mo. Senate
A Missouri Senate committee is receiving budget requests this week from agencies and non-profit groups as lawmakers prepare to craft the state's spending plan for next year.
Audrey Johanns, a small business owner in Jefferson City, asked committee members to help working parents who can't afford child care.
"I gave one of my star employees a raise," Johanns told the committee. "She took home an extra $150 in her paycheck, but she lost $300 in childcare assistance (because of the raise)."
Lawmakers and Governor Jay Nixon are anticipating another budget deficit for the upcoming fiscal year. However, the latest revenue estimate shows modest growth in state revenues.
"While we may have a little bit of an uptick in general revenue, we really don't have as much money," Schaefer said. "The (budget) gap is still bigger than in previous years, because we (won't) have that federal money (we've had) for the last two years."
Schaefer says he's expecting a budget deficit between $300 and $500 million for Fiscal Year 2012, which begins in July.
Governor Nixon is scheduled to announce his proposed state budget tomorrow night during his annual State of the State Address, which will be aired live at 7:00 p.m. on St. Louis Public Radio.