February 9, 2016

Senate budget debate starts, stalls

A proposed state budget has run into trouble right out of the gate in the state senate.

About nine state seantors have launched an immeidate attack on the the senate version of the next state budget, charging its priorities are out of line and the financing of it is fishy.

They’ve blocked consideration of a bill with funding for the rest of this fiscal year and have blasted the budget for the fiscal year starting July first. Senator Jason Crowell of cape Griardeau sees the budget as his last chance to reform the tax credit program, which he says will eat up about 10 percent of the general revenue budget…

The senate floor leader says the arguments are about 23-million dollars in a 23-Billion dollar budget–a good chunk being whether state workers get pay raises and whether a new computer system is bought to process Medicaid claims. The Crowell faction says the arguments are about realistically funding a balanced budget.

Crowell and his allies dominated the floor for about four hours last night. Senate leaders say another four hours of secret negotiations have at least put the senate closer to a postiion where it’s almost ready to start passing budget bills.