A program for disabled children – a program Governor Matt Blunt had wanted to kill – has gained new life in the State Senate. The Governor angered hundreds of Missouri parents in January when he proposed eliminating $23-Million from the First Steps program, essentially wiping it out. Lawmakers have rejected the budget cut and have come up with a restructuring plan. The Senate has tentatively approved a new program that establishes participation fees for some families, lets the state still get federal money, and requires some private insurance participation. Senate Leader Michael Gibbons of Kirkwood says it won’t save the state many dollars, but it will save the program for everybody who needs it.
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