Brownback Cuts School Funds in Budget Deal
February 6, 2015

(AP) – Kansas legislators have approved a stop-gap plan for erasing most of a predicted shortfall in the state’s current budget so bills can be paid on time.

The measure approved Thursday attacks a $344 million deficit projected through June 30 largely by shifting money from highway projects and other special funds to pay for education, social services, prisons and other government programs.

Senators approved the bill, 24-1. Republican Gov. Sam Brownback is expected to sign it.

Shortly before the Senate vote, Brownback also announced that he’d cut $45 million worth of funding for higher education and public schools in March, but offered an alternative.

Brownback called on lawmakers to reform portions of the state’s complex schooling funding formula with the next few weeks. he says that would restore the money being cut.

The problems arose after slashing income taxes in 2012 and 2013 to stimulate the economy.

Hartzler Warns Super-Committee, No More Military Cuts, Could Break their Back
October 19, 2011

Wester Missouri Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler is telling the bipartisan Super Committee on the debt, stay away from the Defense Budget.
Hartzler, and other members of the House Armed Services Committee, sent a letter to the Super Committee today, according to a Hartzler News release.
Hartzler says making more defense “could break the back of our Armed Forces”.
The Super Committee has until November 23 to come up with about $1.5 billion in federal budget cuts.
Without those reductions, under the budget deal struck in August, another $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts will take effect.
Hartzler says planned budgets to the military of more than $400 billion is enough.
She believes further cuts will not only strain the military but also hurt the businesses who do defense work
She also thinks further military cuts won’t do much to help resolve the federal debt problem.

Nixon Releases Money for Domestic Vioence Centers, Elderly Care and Children
August 3, 2011

AP) – Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is releasing $1.2 million for domestic violence shelters, crisis care services for children and Area Agencies on Aging.

Spending cuts to those programs were part of $172 million Nixon trimmed from the current budget that took effect in July. Nixon’s administration said Wednesday that money for those programs was being released because state revenues have continued to improve.

The state Office of Administration reported Wednesday that state revenue was up 0.6 percent during the first month of the budget year.

Nixon released $471,000 for the state’s 10 Area Agencies on Aging and $400,000 for crisis care services for children who are at risk for abuse or neglect. The governor also released $356,000 for grants to more than 70 domestic violence shelters.

Nixon Cuts State Budget, Diverts Some Money to Disaster Relief
June 12, 2011

From the AP:

Gov. Jay Nixon cut funding for education and other programs Friday to help offset Missouri’s mounting tab from a disastrous spring in which a deadly tornado and widespread flooding destroyed thousands of homes, businesses and farms.

Nixon announced $172 million in cuts from the budget set to take effect July 1, including reductions in aid to colleges and universities, student scholarships and busing for public elementary and secondary schools.

Lawmakers passed a more than $23 billion budget in early May, just days after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers blew up a southeastern Missouri levee and unleashed a swollen Mississippi River on about 130,000 acres of farmland and rural homes. A couple of weeks later, the nation’s deadliest tornado in decades tore through Joplin, destroying more than 8,000 homes and businesses. The death toll has risen to 151 people.

Nixon has committed $50 million of state general revenues — which were not anticipated in the budget — for disaster response and recovery efforts.

On Friday, he cut a nearly equal amount of $57 million from other parts of the state budget.

“When tornadoes hit, when floods hit, the state has a vital role to help recover and rebuild communities,” Nixon said.

The largest reduction in state general revenues — $16.8 million — will come from the operating budgets of public colleges and universities. The result is that most institutions will receive a 7 percent funding cut next school year instead of the 5.5 percent reduction originally budgeted by lawmakers.

Caution: Bumpy Road Ahead; Commissioners Approve Big MoDOT Budget Cuts
June 9, 2011

The Highways and Transportation Commission on Wednesday approved a plan to cut positions, close facilities and sell equipment to bolster money for road and bridge projects.

Transportation Department Director Kevin Keith says it will save $512 million by 2015 and $117 million annually.

Under the plan, about 1,200 positions will be cut, 131 facilities will be closed and 740 pieces of equipment will be sold. Some jobs already have been cut, and officials will use attrition and transfers to minimize layoffs. The staff cuts are to be made by March 31, 2013.

District offices in Macon, Joplin and Willow Springs will close. About 70 to 80 workers will remain in each of those areas under the supervision of an area engineer.

“For the most part, I think it’s the right thing to do,” said Rep. Charlie Denison, R-Springfield, who chairs the House Transportation Committee.

He said he’d like to see the department stay smaller even as revenue picks up.

“I’m sure that there are some kinks that will have to be worked out and I think they’re willing to do it,” he said.

Denison said he doesn’t like the job losses, but he hopes the changes will create more private jobs. He used the example of snow plowing — if contractors do the extra work, that could be a boon to private companies.