Scripps Media: Missouri Lawmakers Pass $3.4B In Basic Aid For K-12 Schools

12:27 AM, May 5, 2017

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri budgeters have agreed on a final version of the state’s proposed 27 billion dollar spending plan.

The plan needs a final vote of approval from the Legislature.

The proposal would increase basic aid for public K-12 schools, but cut funding for higher education and in-home care and nursing services for seniors and people with disabilities.

Creve Coeur Senator Jill Schupp criticized House Bill 10, a section that would cut critical funding from health care facilities that offer abortions.

“I cannot and will not support fiscally irresponsible legislation that wastes taxpayer dollars just to score political points. It’s time we trust women to make their own health care decisions and tell politicians in Jefferson City to mind their own business.” says Schupp.

The budget allowed more money for basic aid to public K-12 schools – $3.4 billion.

The roughly $48 million increase sent to Gov. Eric Greitens’ desk on Thursday would mean Missouri meets funding goals called for under state law.

Lawmakers face a Friday deadline to pass a budget for the next fiscal year, which begins in July.

The K-12 education budget passed by the Legislature calls for about $45 million more in basic aid for schools than what was recommended by the new Republican governor, who had asked for a slight increase but not enough to meet funding goals.

Senate Democratic Floor Leader Gina Walsh says “although the state budget is far from perfect, we are making a record investment in public schools while preventing many of the draconian cuts proposed by the Governor and Republican majority to Missouri’s most vulnerable populations. Going forward, we must address the underlying issues that have created our budget shortfalls before we reach a point where our only options are between the tough and the terrible.”

Lawmakers also spared money for school busing. Greitens wanted to cut that by about $25 million compared to this fiscal year.

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