A compromise in the Missouri House gives Governor Bob Holden $50-Million more to help with the current fiscal year’s budget. The House has overwhelmingly approved a measure to turn a third of the state’s national tobacco settlement money into bonds to provide $350-Million in budget relief. The bill initially provided only $100-Million for the current fiscal year. It now provides $150-Million for this year, reserving $200-Million for next year. The leading Democrat in the House, Representative Mark Abel of Festus, insists not everyone buys in to this compromise. But, Republican leaders counter that it was a big step to get their members to even agree to the tobacco bond scheme. They insisted that if tobacco bonds were to be used, the revenue should be spread over a couple of years.
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