The head of a state budget study group urges lawmakers to be careful in spending some extra money the state will have next year. Executive Director Amy Blouin (blewin), of the Missouri Budget Project has told the Senate Appropriations Committee the additional money is “temporary and tenous.” The Missouri Budget Project is a private group that studies state finances. Blouin urges lawmakers to reject calls for tax cuts and instead use a big part of the so-called surplus to restore cuts made two years ago in the Medicaid program. She calls the state’s additional funds “a critical opportunity” to restore health insurance to low-income Missourians. She says this is not the time for any tax cuts because tax cuts will permanently reduce state income which will reduce the state’s ability to fund basic services. Blouin expects Governor Blunt to suggest an insurance premium assistance plan for Missourians earning up to 200 percvent of the poverty level. She says that program would not be cheap and would be most economical if it is based on a solid Medicaid prorgram. The governor will unveil his recommendations for financing state programs and services tonight in his State of the State speech. You can hear the speech on this web site or by tuning your radio to a participating Missourinet affiliate. The speech is scheduled for 7 p.m.
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