Governor Nixon proposes spending less on state services and programs in the next budget than the state is spending this year. Legislators have heard his proposals for a $23.2 billion  spending plan. It includes $704 million in cuts, savings, and adjustments in spending.

State budget director Linda Luebbering says it also calls for 863 job cuts, more than half of them in the Department of Mental Health.     Social Services is losing 380 jobs, some in income maintenance.  Some would be in some jobs would lost through privatization of more of the foster care program.

She says the budget plan includes more than $67 million in Medicaid cost containment efforts through reductions in reimbursement rates for hospitals and in-home care providers.  Nixon recommends a four percent cut in higher education funding and no increase in elementary and secondary education funds. 

The proposed budget is smaller although state tax income is up…But Missouri is losing a quarter-billion dollars in federal stimulus funds.

The legislature has until early May to send Nixon its version of the budget. 

 Listen to the budget briefing, all 55:13 of it. mp3