The new House Budget Committee Chairman has a difficult task – reducing state spending in line with revenue projections. Brent Martin has talked with him. House Budget Committee Chairman Carl Bearden of St. Charles predicts budget cuts, such as in Medicaid. He says his committee will look first to cut, not to increase revenue such as proposed by Governor Bob Holden. Bearden is considerably cool to the ideas proposed by Holden: an increase in the tobacco tax, increased gambling revenue,and ending certain business tax incentives. Bearden notes Holden has proposed cuts in the budget delivered to the Legislature. He says the Governor just needs to look a little deeper, a little further. He also questions the Holden Administration insistence that the state faces a billion dollar hole he says that’s only true if the state wants to do the same things that has caused the budget problem in the first place.
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