UPDATE: Missouri might have to cut more from budget

Monday, January 4, 2010 | 9:37 p.m. CST

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri officials might have to cut an additional $200 million from the state budget within the next month if tax revenues continue to fall short of expectations.

Revised figures released Monday predict revenues for the 2010 fiscal year, which ends July 1, will be 6.4 percent less than those collected the previous year.

Gov. Jay Nixon already has vetoed or cut more than $600 million from the $23.7 billion approved by lawmakers for state operations and capital improvements. But with revenues continuing to shrink, Missouri faces an additional shortfall of nearly $200 million, said Linda Luebbering, the budget director for Nixon's administration.

"Our goal is to announce some additional expenditure restrictions by hopefully the end of January," Luebbering said.

About 2,300 full- and part-time state jobs have already been eliminated. Additional layoffs are possible, and all areas of state government are being examined for potential cuts, Luebbering said.

Nixon, who is a Democrat, and the Republican chairmen of the House and Senate budget committees all accepted the revised revenue estimates. Missouri officials consider revising their revenue estimates each year around December or January, when they also release the first revenue projections for the upcoming budget year.

Budget officials expect revenues to rebound slightly, with 3.6 percent growth, during the 2011 budget year, which starts July 1. But even if that happens, 2011 revenues would still be about $780 million less than those in the 2008 fiscal year.


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