The House Budget Director has filed his proposed budget for fiscal year 2015.
Representative Rick Stream (R-Kirkwood) is offering a tiered approach to his spending plan, recommending some expenditures out of the General Revenue fund and offering legislation that would create a separate fund that would receive money if the economy is strong enough, from which other expenditures would be made.
Stream says it’s a way to deal with the disagreement between Governor Jay Nixon (D) and the legislature on the projection of how much revenue the state will receive in the new fiscal year.
“We think our number’s right based on our data, but the Governor could be right based on his data,” says Stream. “We thought that we would try to address that situation in this way by constructing a two-tiered budget, one with general revenue and one with surplus revenue fund so that if the Governor is right, the money does come in, it can be spent for the things that we’ve appropriated the money for.”
Notable among the things split between the tiers, Stream has taken the Governor’s recommended increase of $278-million for the funding formula for K-12 education and proposed taking $122 million of it from General Revenue, with another $156 million from the Surplus Revenue Fund his legislation would create.
Stream proposes less funding for the state’s public colleges and universities than Governor Nixon but includes $25-million to match private funds for capital projects in the University of Missouri system and $38-million from that surplus fund for projects at other higher education institutions and tens of millions of dollars of proposed increases in three college scholarship programs.
He also proposes a one-percent cost of living pay raise for state employees and a one-percent across-the-board cut in the number of state employees.