Missouri House OKs increased budget flexibility for counties

Tuesday, May 4, 2010 | 3:54 p.m. CDT; updated 11:23 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, May 5, 2010

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri House members have approved legislation designed to give counties more control over their budgets.

Under the bill, counties would be allowed to cut their budgets during the middle of the year. Currently counties can only increase them. The county budget flexibility was added Tuesday to broader legislation that now goes to the Senate.

Supporters say counties need more budget freedom because revenue is falling amid the economic downturn. Otherwise, they say counties could make larger than necessary budget cuts upfront to keep money in reserve.

Counties would be barred from targeting midyear budget cuts at a single agency and would need to spread the cuts fairly.

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