House Speaker Ron Richard (R-Joplin) applauds a move by Governor Nixon to greatly reduce the cut he proposes to the University of Missouri and Lincoln University extension services. And Richard tells reporters at the Capitol that the House has no intention of cutting extension.
Governor Nixon originally proposed cutting $15.4 million dollars from the university extension program. The proposal would cut in half the University of Missouri extension service budget and make a 40% cut to the Lincoln University extension service. The governor’s office this week stated $10.1 million would be restored to the extension service budget from money saved in the building of the new women’s prison in Chillicothe.
Richard says members of the House were shocked to learn the governor proposed a 50% reduction in the University of Missouri extension service, a service that touches nearly all 163 districts in the House.
“It caught us flat-footed,” Richard says. “There hadn’t been any discussion about it.”
The Speaker says he even talked with University of Missouri system president, Gary Forsee, who hadn’t been given notice of the proposal to cut the extension service.
Richard says members of the House weren’t happy with the proposal. He says there is no sentiment in the House to cut extension.
“And I’m still saying, ‘Fat chance, it’s not gonna happen,'” Richard says.
The governor recommends a budget to the legislature. The House is the first to review the recommendations and draft its version of the budget which it sends to the Senate. Negotiators from both the Senate and House consult with members of the governor’s office to reach a final budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1 st .