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09 April 2010

Roorda: House Approves, Rejects, Approves Spending Bill


School Budget Cuts
A day after rejecting a supplemental appropriations bill that it previously had approved, the House of Representatives on April 8 switched positions for a second time and voted 96-51 to send the bill to the governor to be signed into law. The House's repeated flipping of positions on HB 2014 resulted from a dispute over a provision in the bill that will spare 152 local school districts from midyear spending cuts but impose even bigger funding reductions on the state's other 371 districts.
Because of a funding shortfall, Gov. Jay Nixon in January called for reducing the state's scheduled payment to local districts for current school year by $43 million. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education had planned to deal with the shortfall with a 2 percent funding reduction for all districts. The House Budget Committee, however, added a provision to exempt so-called "hold harmless" districts from the cuts. Hold harmless districts, which are predominantly wealthy suburban districts and certain small rural districts with high local tax levies, don't receive annual increases from the state's education funding distribution formula but still get more money than they would receive under the formula.
When the bill initially came before the full House in March, lawmakers defeated an amendment by state Rep. Rachel Bringer, D-Palmyra, to remove the hold-harmless exemption. The House then passed the bill with the exemption intact, and the Senate followed suit. By the time the bill returned to the House for final approval, however, many representatives changed their positions after realizing their initial votes against the Bringer amendment adversely affected their local districts.
The House attempted to open negotiations with the Senate to remove the exemption, but the Senate considered the issue settled and refused. As a result, the House on April 7 voted down the bill 75-79. The next day, however, the House again changed positions and granted the bill final approval. Opponents of the exemption are urging Nixon to use his line-item veto authority on appropriations bills to strike the controversial provision.

House Rejects Senate Spending Bill - News Leader

House Changes Mind on Supplemental - MissouriNet


Net state general revenue collections were down 17.8 percent, or $100.2 million, in March 2010 compared to March 2009, according to the latest revenue figures compiled by the Missouri Department of Revenue. Year-to-date general revenue collections for FY 2010, which ends June 30, are down 13.3 percent compared to the same period FY 2009, dropping from $5.4 billion to $4.68 billion.

To read full St. Louis Post Dispatch story click here.


The Senate Appropriations Committee on April 8 voted to eliminate the entire $37.5 million for the Career Ladder program that the House of Representatives had approved for next year's state budget. The program provides about 18,000 teachers who perform extra duties with salary supplements ranging from $1,500 to $5,000 a year.

The state splits the cost of Career Ladder with participating school districts. Because the state pays its share a year in arrears, money in next year's budget would reimburse districts for expenses incurred in the current school year. As a result, if Career Ladder funding isn't restored in the final budget, the districts won't be reimbursed. The Senate committee eliminated the program as part of its effort to balance the state budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

To read the full KMOX story click here.

KRCG - Senate Panel Cuts Extra Pay For Teachers


Nixom Headshot
Gov. Jay Nixon says he'll work to get the Senate to go along with a deal he struck with public colleges and universities under which they agreed not to increase tuition for the second consecutive year if the cash-strapped state limited budget cuts to higher education for the 2010-2011 school year to around $50 million. Although the House of Representatives has already agreed to the deal, the Senate Appropriations Committee put it in jeopardy on April 6 by endorsing a $65 million higher education cut.

To read the entire story in the Columbia Missourian click here.

If there is anything I can do for you, please do not hesitate to contact my office.  I enjoy serving my constituents as "their" voice in the Missouri State Capitol.

U.S. Census Increases By One

April 1st is designated as the official US Census Day and on Thursday, April 1st the US Census for Jefferson County increased by one!

Kellan Patrick McKenna
Arrived: Thursday, April 1st
Weight: 7 lbs, 5 oz
Length: 23 inches

Congratulations to Senator and Mrs. Ryan McKenna

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