State revenue refuses to rebound, so the state budget takes another hit.
Governor Nixon has authorized an additional $204 million in budget cuts, bringing the total cuts to the budget approved by the state legislature this past session to $634 million. Nixon vetoed $105 million dollars from the state budget, and then he withheld $325 million. Nixon announced the cuts during a news conference in the State Budget Director’s office at the Capitol. The governor will trim $12 million from the state payroll.
“This will cause the elimination of at least 450 additional part-time positions and 200 additional full-time positions,” Nixon told reporters gathered at the Capitol for his budget news conference. “That means a total of 17-hundred full-time positions will have been eliminated since the start of the year.”
Attrition has nearly run its course. The budget cuts will trigger lay-offs, though it’s uncertain how many state workers will lose their jobs. Budget officials added after the governor delivered his remarks that the number of part-time positions will likely total closer to 500 than 450.
Nixon says the core budgets of schools, colleges, public safety and Medicaid will be spared. So-called cost containment should trim $32 million from the Medicaid budget. Maintenance and repair takes a $20 million hit, which comes on the heels of a $47.8 million cut announced earlier, a drastic reduction to the $107.8 million budget. The school transportation budget, which helps offset the cost to local school districts to run buses, will be trimmed by $15.8 million. The Life Science Research Board will be cut by $13 million.
Nixon insists that the budget cuts will not harm the core functions of the state budget: education, public safety and Medicaid. Though Nixon has authorized cuts to all departments, he said that the basic school funding formula will not be touched, that state colleges will receive the money promised in the budget, that there would be no cuts to state troopers, Water Patrol personnel or prison guards and that no one would lose eligibility for Medicaid.
State Budget Director Linda Luebbering refuses to call any budget cuts worse than others.
“All of these cuts are challenging,” Luebbering told reports. “If we had the money, we would not be doing these.”
Luebbering released a detailed list of the budget cuts during her briefing with reporters, held after Governor Nixon spoke.
The governor says he hopes this will be the last announcement of budget cuts for the year.