Many Senate Republicans hope to repeal this week a tax rebate provided to elderly and disabled renters. Assistant Majority Floor Leader Bob Onder (R-Lake St. Louis) tells Missourinet they want to use that funding to offset about $52 million in proposed cuts to home and community based services for the elderly.

Senator Bob Onder

“We really need to protect the seniors who most need our help and those are the seniors in institutions, long-term care facilities and in need of home health services,” says Onder.

The tax credit, commonly referred to as the “Circuit-Breaker”, would save about $56 million in the state budget that begins in July.

Advocates for seniors call the proposal robbing Peter to pay Paul. They say it could remove an important safety net for vulnerable Missourians to afford things that improve their quality of life.

Onder says the Senate is expected to focus next week on the proposed $27 billion state budget. The General Assembly must pass a budget by the first week in May.

According to Onder, other priorities for some Senate Republicans include changes to Missouri’s education and labor laws.

“We’ve got a lot of things to consider between now and May 12th and not a lot of time to do it,” says Onder.

Bills under consideration include allowing charter schools to expand statewide, requiring annual written approval to have union dues taken from public employees’ paychecks and eliminating a minimum wage requirement for construction projects on things like jails and schools.