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25 March 2010

Joe Smith: House Makes Tough Decisions, Hones in on the State Budget

Each year, the Governor and his cabinet work line by line to balance the state budget before handing their final product on to the legislature for passage; this year, however, the Governor presented us with a budget that was way out of balance.  In fact, his budget overspends by $500 million and relies heavily upon $300 million federal dollars from President Obama.

When we received his budget, our Budget Chairman Allen Icet and his committee went right to work, looking for ways to pair down spending and eliminating unnecessary items.  Through their hard work, and the support of the Republican Caucus, the House of Representatives trimmed a total in decreasing 225 million from the state's General Revenue (GR).

The decisions we made to eliminate some of the Governor's wasteful spending were not easy, but it had to be done.  State revenues are declining, thousands of our citizens are out of work and no one – not even the state of Missouri – remains unaffected by the economic downturn.

We've seen Congress and the President overspend our nation into a frenzy, which isn't prudent budgeting.  It looks as though our Governor is on the same path, but in the House we are working to make difficult cuts in order to protect our state's financial future.  Now, the budget will be moved to the Senate where we expect further decreases in spending.  Because of Republicans in the House, we will be able to give the Governor his budget back with millions of dollars eliminated from his initial plan and our state may remain fiscally sound.

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