A $19-Billion budget has passed the House after three days of grueling debate. If anything, the criticism of this budget by Democrats grew sharper and harsher as debate wound down on final approval. Democrats have made it known they believe the budget puts lives as risk, because it cuts nearly 100,000 people off Medicaid. House Budget Committee Chairman Brad Lager of Maryville acknowledges during floor debate the budget posed tough choices. Lager defends the budget as securing the state’s safety net for the state’s truly needy. Democrats say it leaves the safety net hanging by a thread. The budget now moves to the Senate, which is already meeting to study the budget bills. A budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1st must be completed by May 6th.