State government’s main numbers-cruncher heads to a new job, leaving improvements and some problems behind. State Budget Director Linda Luebbering has been delivering mostly bad news about state finances for two years, providing the figures Governor Bob Holden has used for withholdings and vetoes in budget bills. She’ll become the budget director of one state agency in Pennsylvania that has a budget bigger than the entire state budget for Missouri. She’s leaving because there won’t be a place for her in a new adminsitration taking over in January. She says things are looking better but there are still big problems. She says Missourians demand more services than they’re willing to pay for. She says there’s no way to get there and says her successor, the next Governor, and the next Legislature will face tough choices. Her numbers have often been criticized by opposition Republicans, but Luebbering says she’s had a good working relationship with people from both parties although she has carried the Governor’s message in the budget process.
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