House budget funds education, cuts blind aid

Thursday, March 22, 2012 | 3:24 p.m. CDT; updated 3:44 p.m. CDT, Thursday, March 22, 2012

JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri House has passed a $24 billion state budget that holds funding steady for education but cuts medical benefits for the blind.

The budget approved Thursday for the 2013 fiscal year now goes to the Senate, where it is likely to be revised.

Gov. Jay Nixon originally proposed a 12.5 percent funding cut for public colleges and universities, then softened that cut by tapping money from a settlement with mortgage lenders. The House plan would keep funding flat for higher education institutions. It also embraces Nixon's plan for a slight increase to elementary and secondary schools.

But the budget approved by the Republican-led House would eliminate a $30 million medical program that serves more than 2,800 blind people, instead replacing it with a slimmed-down benefit program.

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