Tornado highlights state's Rainy Day Fund issues
Thursday, May 26, 2011 | 12:36 p.m. CDT
JEFFERSON CITY — Leaders of the Missouri House and Senate said the devastating tornado that hit Joplin has revealed weaknesses in the state's "Rainy Day Fund" for emergencies.
Missouri has a constitutionally required reserve fund of more than $500 million, half of which can be used for disaster needs. Any money taken from the fund must be repaid during the next three years.
Because Missouri already is facing budget difficulties, state officials have been reluctant to tap the fund for fear that it would deepen the state's budget hole in the coming year.
Senate President Pro Tem Rob Mayer said Thursday that the constitution should perhaps be amended to allow a longer payback time for disaster expenditures. House Speaker Steven Tilley said he also would support that change.
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