Three weeks from today, Governor Nixon will give the legislature his recommendations for how much money should go to state programs that serve Missourians. But Congress has done the process no favors.
The $24-billion that go into Missouri’s budget come from three places. Sales, income, and some other taxes go into a general operations fund. Some tax income is earmarked for specific purposes–the gas tax funds transportation, for example. About one-third of the budget comes from Washington. And the budget deal approved last week leaves a lot up in the air.
State budget director Linda Luebbering has been putting state budgets together for a long time…and she’s never seen this much uncertainty. “Every program is in question,” she says.
This time, though, the emphasis in Washington will be on cutting programs. Luebbering says there’s no way to know which programs will be cut or by how much and Congress won’t be providing answers until the legislature is well into the process of writing a spending plan.