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18 March 2010

Joe Smith: House Downsizes Their Budget

State revenues are way down, countless Missourians have lost their jobs and many of our citizens are having difficulty providing for their families.  As we continue to find ways to decrease spending in the state budget, we made significant decreases in our own House budget as well. Along with the Accounts Committee Chairman, Representative Kenny Jones, we have taken a step to reduce state travel by House members.  Most travel expense reimbursements are denied – which will save a good portion of House budget funds.

Cellular phone reimbursements have also been eliminated, saving the House $55,000.

Unlike the Governor's Office of Administration, we fulfilled our constitutional redistricting responsibilities without using additional fiscal resources.  This was a savings of $100,000 – 200,000 of the House budget fund.  In addition, we worked with the Joint Committee on Legislative Research to eliminate the Legislative Budget Office which was a $242,000 savings.

In the past, the House has been a member of several key programs including the NCSL, the ALEC, the Counsel of State Governments and so forth.  This year, we opted out of our memberships in effort to reduce spending.  This provided us a total of $345,000 in savings.  Finally, we replaced our paper system in the Chamber with laptop computers in effort to reduce paper consumption and costs.  Although the laptops were expensive, over time we expect to see significant decreases in paper costs.

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