Nixon cuts additional $45 million from current budget

Thursday, April 22, 2010 | 8:14 p.m. CDT; updated 9:34 a.m. CDT, Monday, April 26, 2010

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri state government got more bad budget news Thursday that led to another round of budget cuts.

On Thursday, the state's budget director announced an unexpectedly low amount of tax collections for the current month as of April 20, as income tax payments are being processed.

"It's possible that April will improve as we continue through the month, but right now it's looking like we're going to have a very bad April," said State Budget Director Linda Luebbering.

The unexpectedly low amount was cited in the administration's announcement that another $45 million in state spending will be curtailed.

Including Thursday's withholdings, the state has held back more than $900 million originally appropriated for the 2010 fiscal year budget year that ends June 30.

Thursday's cuts included $5 million to the Parents as Teachers program, bringing its total withhold for the year to nearly $7 million, which is 23 percent of its original budget.

The governor also slashed $8 million in transportation funding from the Elementary and Secondary Education Department, bringing the total year-to-date slash in education transportation cuts for the department to $12 million, a 7 percent cut.

"That was a very difficult decision for the governor, but it's just one that we had to make given where we are," Luebbering said.

Other cuts include $4 million — or 16 percent — of the state's subsidies for biodiesel and $2.2 million from Medicaid.

Luebbering said Missouri's April tax collections are down 19 percent compared to the same period last year.

"Not only is the average payment down, but the number of payments is down," Luebbering said.

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