Funding at issue for Missouri Children's Division

Wednesday, April 30, 2014 | 6:12 a.m. CDT; updated 10:55 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, April 30, 2014

JEFFERSON CITY — Funding for the Missouri agency that investigates allegations of child abuse and neglect figures to be a point of contention as House and Senate members negotiate the next state budget.

The Senate completed work Tuesday on its version of the $26.8 billion operating budget for 2015.

Missing from the Senate plan are about $4.6 million of funding increases recommended by Gov. Jay Nixon for the Children's Services Division. The House had included the money.

Part of that funding would go toward pay raises and a student loan forgiveness program for staff. Nixon also had sought money to equip 1,500 staff with iPads and to ensure wireless Internet access in 124 offices.

Senate Democrats on Tuesday urged the Republican chairman of the Appropriations Committee to restore that funding during negotiations.

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