Missouri governor cuts $146 million, colleges take hit

Posted at 4:42 PM, Jan 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-16 17:42:00-05

Missouri Republican Gov. Eric Greitens cut more than $146 million in spending from the budget on Monday, including close to $68 million in core funding for public universities and community colleges.

Greitens announced the cuts for this fiscal year's budget just one week after he took office. He said the cuts are necessary because of lower-than-expected tax revenues and rising costs in Medicaid and other programs.

"You elected me because I'll always tell it like it is, and more hard choices lie ahead," Greitens said in an emailed statement. "But as Missourians, I believe that we must come together, tighten our belts, be smart and wise with our tax dollars, and work our way out of this hole by bringing more jobs with higher pay to the people of Missouri."

The cuts are on top of about $200 million in spending restrictions made by Greitens' predecessor, Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon.

Greitens said no cuts were made to K-12 education funding, but he cut almost $9 million in busing aid for public K-12 school districts. He also slashed about $56 million for public universities, and close to $12 million from community colleges.

More cuts might be coming. Greitens said more than $700 million in budget cuts will be necessary over the next year and a half to keep a balanced budget.

Greitens is scheduled to deliver his first State of the State address on Tuesday, but he's breaking from tradition and won't outline his budget proposal for next fiscal year at that time. The Missouri House budget leader has said he expects a budget from Greitens in early February.



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