Missouri tobacco, gambling revenues falling short

Thursday, January 23, 2014 | 7:04 a.m. CST; updated 8:35 p.m. CST, Thursday, January 23, 2014

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri is looking for other sources of money for education and health care after experiencing shortfalls in gambling and tobacco revenues.

State budget director Linda Luebbering said revenues from casinos, cigarettes sales and the Missouri Lottery all are coming in lower than budgeted this year. Those revenues all are earmarked for education.

Gov. Jay Nixon is proposing to transfer $44 million from general revenues to make up for the lost education funding.

Missouri also is losing about $70 million of expected revenues from a legal settlement with tobacco companies, because an arbitration panel ruled the state failed to diligently enforce tobacco laws a decade ago.

Nixon is proposing to use general revenues to finance the health care programs that were supposed to get tobacco funds.

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Michael Williams January 23, 2014 | 8:14 a.m.

It still amazes me that folks in this State actually thought it was a wise thing to base education funds (in part) on a commodity (tobacco) whose use we were trying to eliminate/reduce.

And gambling.

Whatever were you thinking?


(Report Comment)
John Schultz January 23, 2014 | 9:28 a.m.

Missouri should authorize online poker sites to operate in its borders, similar to what Nevada, New Jersey, and I think Delaware have done. Shoot, you can't even register for subscription poker rooms, like Club WPT, due to some antiquated sweepstakes law in the state.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz January 23, 2014 | 9:31 a.m.

Michael, your comment is very spot-on, considering this article was published in the Missourian on the same day:

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams January 23, 2014 | 3:08 p.m.

JohnS: Anything for a buck.

Even if it makes no sense.

It's almost like....some sort of intellectual prostitution.

Or sumpin'.

PS: Or, we're confused.

(Report Comment)

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