Budget Director Filling Holes in State Budget

Missouri faces an estimated $460 million hole in its 2013 budget. This week State Budge Director Linda Luebbering presented the House Budget Committee with the Nixon Administration’s ideas on how to fill the budget gaps.

On the good side, Luebbering noted that the hole had been $500 million, but that a recent mortgage settlement by the Attorney General knocked the amount down $40 million.

The biggest adjustment to balancing the budget would be found in Medicaid. Because of changes in the federal match requirement for states, Luebbering told the committee that $191.7 million would be reduced from what budget planners expected Medicaid to cost Missouri in the next fiscal year. Another $75 million of the hole could be filled with measures now pending before the General Assembly, including a tax amnesty bill which could generate almost $52 million.

Luebbering told the committee that about $80 million could be saved by restructuring state debt, administrative savings, and reductions to public health agencies and bio-diesel subsidy payments.

Luebbering informed the committee of some positive signs in the economy including a lower unemployment rate and a slight growth of 1.3 percent in revenue collections at the end of January.

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