The full Senate gets to work this week on the budget for the 2008 Fiscal Year that begins July 1st.

Senate Majority Floor Leader Charlie Shields (R-St. Joseph) says some members of the Senate have already spent a lot of time on the budget, so it’s a matter of settling differences before the Senate versions of the various bills can be reconciled with what the House wants.

Shields expects the process to move along in a timely fashion with a lot of discussion. He says everybody realizes the budget must be completed as there are vital state services that are depending on the budget. He does not believe the bitterness associated with last week’s debate on the sale of assets of MOHELA – the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority – will play much of a role in the budget talks.

The State Constitution requires the budget process to be completed one week before the session ends. So, the budget must be done by May 11th.

Download/Listen: Steve Walsh report (:60 MP3)