Missouri Senate budget plan would maintain funding for public universities

Wednesday, April 4, 2012 | 11:51 a.m. CDT; updated 6:29 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, April 4, 2012

JEFFERSON CITY — Education would be spared from cuts but fewer state employees would get pay raises under a budget plan put forth by a Missouri Senate committee.

The Senate Appropriations Committee agreed Wednesday to follow the House's lead by holding funding flat for public universities — shunning Gov. Jay Nixon's recommendation for cuts. The Senate committee plan would provide a $5 million increase to community colleges to train an estimated 500 additional students.

The Senate committee also agreed with the House to add about $5 million to Missouri's $3 billion basic aid program to public school districts.

The Senate panel endorsed a 2 percent pay raise for state employees making less than $45,000 annually. The House plan had set the salary cutoff at $70,000 for the pay raise.

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