The State Senate completes work on the budget for the 2009 fiscal year ( HB 2001 , HB 2002 , HB 2003 , HB 2004 , HB 2005 , HB 2006 , HB 2007 , HB 2008 , HB 2009 , HB 2010 , HB 2011 , HB 2012 , HB 2013 ) that begins July 1st. Discussion got somewhat intense and personal at times, especially during discussion of the budget pertaining to the Department of Corrections.
Senator Chris Koster (D-Raymore) put forward an amendment asking that the state make available approximately $4-million for probation and parole officers who have won a lawsuit in which a judge has ruled the state violated the rights of the employees by denying them pay raises. Koster points out that while the judge found the workers had been discriminated against, the judge could not order the money to be paid to the 1,300 employees.
Koster wants the money to be paid, but Senator Gary Nodler (R-Joplin), the Budget Commitee Chairman, says the Governor should address that request – which led to a personal exchange in which it was suggested Koster – a canddiate for Attorney General – is politicking.
In the end, the amendment was defeated, with the prevailing position being that the case should make it all the way through the appeals process before any action is taken.