House Budget Committee Chairman Ryan Silvey (R-Kansas City) isn’t in a hurry to comply with Senate demands to cut federal stimulus money for capital projects in order for unemployment checks to continue for long-time out-of-work Missourians.
Silvey, in a telephone interview with the Missourinet from Kansas City, says he wants to see details about the deal made in the Senate. Silvey points out that the House was invited to the negotiations between Senate leadership and the four senators who were blocking passage of the budget bills. He has no plans at this time to change House Bill 18, which contains the federal economic stimulus money.
“My guess is I will probably send House Bill 18 over to the Senate largely untouched and let the Senate do whatever they want to do it and, like I said, the House will, I guess, enter the negotiations at conference,” Silvey tells us.
Senate President Pro Tem Rob Mayer has agreed to cut $250 million in federal stimulus money from HB 18, a $550 million budget bill that the House has yet to act on. Mayer also has agreed to cut six weeks off the benefits for future unemployed Missourians. In exchange, the senators have agreed to end their hold-up of $105 million in federal unemployment benefits contained in HB 163. Presumably, they also will no longer threaten HB 15, a budget bill that would use $189 million in federal money to keep the basic school funding formula steady.
Though Mayer informed House Speaker Steven Tilley (R-Perryville) about the deal, House budget writers had no input. Silvey says he will be eager to learn more about it when he returns to the Capitol Monday.
AUDIO: Brent Martin interviews House Budget Committee Chairman Ryan Silvey. [5 min MP3]