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Republicans Set to Ramp Up State Spending

Despite plenty of talk about budget cuts once again during this session, state lawmakers are on track to approve an increase in total spending.

Despite plenty of talk about budget cuts once again during this session, state lawmakers are on track to approve an increase in total spending.

The constitutional deadline for lawmakers in the Missouri General Assembly to approve a budget for next fiscal year lands next week on Friday.

Lawmakers in the state legislature, controlled by Republicans, may shave a few million dollars or add a few more million dollars before handing the budget to Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat.

In the end, the budget plan is likely to end around $1 billion higher than proposed by the governor or more than $800 million more than lawmakers appropriated for this fiscal year, ending June 30.

The Missouri Senate increased the budget for fiscal 2013 by $20.8 million last week to $24.1 billion compared to the version approved by lawmakers in the Missouri House in March.

The governor's plan to spend $23 billion next fiscal year, first outlined in January and followed with several amendments, would have cut year-over-year state expenditures by around 1 percent.

If the $24.1 billion plan being negotiated by lawmakers is approved, year-over-year spending would increase by 3.5 percent compared to the $23.3 billion appropriated for the current fiscal year.

Spending will increase almost 5 percent this fiscal year if all of the appropriations are spent.

As analysis of state expenditures by Missouri Journal shows, spending rarely falls year-over year.

Throughout the last 30 years, total expenditures have dropped year-over-year only three times, while total spending has increased 468 percent from $3.9 billion in 1981 to $22.2 billion during 2011.

By Brian R. Hookbrhook@missourijournal.com, (314) 482-7944

Hook is editor of Missouri Journal, which tracks the economy across the Show-Me State

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Michael O'Fallon May 08, 2012 at 03:05 AM
Clarifying statement: I was referring to specific cuts in particular, not overall, which I may have inadvertently implied. Though, I believe Blunt proposed more than one budget that would have indeed cut overall spending. The Blunt cuts I was referring to were regarding Medicaid & First Steps.
Brian R. Hook May 08, 2012 at 02:15 PM
Here are the reductions Nixon proposed: $89 million in higher education $29.3 million in staff and administrative costs $16.9 million for community and technical colleges $7 million in biodiesel subsidy payments $2 million in local public health agency grants http://oa.mo.gov/bp/pdffiles/2013presspacket.pdf Here is the House and Senate versions to compare: http://www.scribd.com/doc/91443346/Missouri-Senate-Budget-FY-2013 To get the 30 year comparison of total expenditures, you need to include the amendments by the governor for this fiscal year and also the capitol improvements by legislators: http://www.scribd.com/doc/92157867/Missouri-Spending And here's what you end up with: Spending cuts more likely by Democrats: http://www.missourijournal.com/2012/05/03/spending-cuts-more-likely-by-democrats/
Michael O'Fallon May 08, 2012 at 02:28 PM
At the risk of sounding too defensive of Republicans, the title "Spending Cuts More Likely By Democrats" is a bit of a stretch. Three total cuts over the span of 32/33 years, and the split is 2-1. Not exactly statistically significant.
Brian R. Hook May 08, 2012 at 02:40 PM
Guilty: Headline was written to catch people's attention. I did however, mention in the first paragraph that the odds of it happening are only one out of 10 times. - BRH
Dee Schallenberg May 11, 2012 at 01:08 PM
I am not a R nor D. I just want who is best for the country. Those are the propose cuts. In an election yr that sounds great. But in reality would it actually happen? Mr. Hook, I like the fact that you are actually taking the time to respond and did present facts of both side albiet in a link not black and white for all to see. But it is there. IL just voted themselves a raise yet talking of closing national parks. Very very sad. A friend mentioned that they had not had a raise in yrs. So! Many Americans can say the same If they even have a job. I am extremely disappointed with the R's. But as another said if they had done the hard work of cutting spending it probably would have been vetoed and dogged, by the media, that they were cutting services for the poor whether or not that was even true. The bias in media is absolutely disgustingly obvious. I just don't understand how ppl don't see what is truly happening w/in out government. Maybe they don't want to see. But... thank you for the close to fair reporting. I really appreciate it! It is refreshing.

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