The Missouri House has passed a tobacco securitization bill that would give Governor Holden $100-Million to deal with the current fiscal year’s budget crisis. It would then take $300-Million that would be used for the 2004 fiscal year, which begins July 1st. Governor Holden has threatened to cut money from public schools, as well as colleges and universities, unless he receives approval from the Legislature by February 15th. He has been asking for more money for the current fiscal year, but the House has decided $100-Million is all he should have. Democrats in the House were unsuccessful in attempts to amend the bill to add $163-Million to the amount that could be used this year. This is the first step in a process that will involve similar legislation in the State Senate.
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