The General Assembly has completed work on the budget for the 2008 fiscal year that begins July 1st, and has finished the task a day ahead of the mandated Friday deadline for getting the work done.

It’s a $21.4-Billion operating budget that includes record amounts for education and healthcare as well as a tax cut for senior citizens. House Budget Committee Chairman Allen Icet (R-Wildwood) says a huge bonus is that the state has an additional $200-Million which it has placed in a reserve fund. He says that is an indication of the positive turnaround in Missouri’s economy.

Previous budget processes have seen their share of acrimony between House and Senate members, in general, and between the two chambers’ budget chiefs, in particular. Icet says he and Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Chuck Gross (R-St. Charles) met regularly during the session to discuss budget issues and to deal with any concerns that might arise. Both say this helped a great deal in keeping the budget process on track.

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