Republican leaders in the legislature want Governor Nixon to propose a budget that’s clean and clear–no smoke and mirrors, which they say he has proposed in the past. 

Nixon will tell lawmakers what he thinks is the state of the state and make his budget suggestions on the 17th.  The governor and lawmakers estimate state income for the next fiscal year will be as much as $500 million short of the amount needed for level funding of programs and services. 

The saying in the capitol is “The governor proposes; the legislature disposes.”   Senate floor leader Tom Dempsey of St. Peters wants the governor to make a straightforward budget proposal.

                                        AUDIO: Dempsey comments  :24  mp3

Senate appropriations chairman Kurt Schaefer of Columbia says he hopes Nixon presents what Schaefer calls a “real budget” that doesn’t rely on passage of other legislation to balance.

                                        Schaefer comments   :26  mp3

Much of the hole in the state budget is created by the end of the use of federal stimulus money that the state has stretched through three budgets