Funding Cuts in Social Programs Adopted by Missouri Senate

The Missouri Senate worked until almost 4 a.m. on Wednesday to pass their version of the proposed state budget for fiscal year 2016. Much of the debate centered on a proposal to trim funding from the Department of Health and Senior Services, the Department of Mental Health, and the Department of Social Services. These departments administer programs providing assistance to the poor, those with developmental disabilities, severe mental illness, and other vulnerable people. The proposal, pushed by Budget Chair Senator Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia), would give these departments about $100 million less than was approved by the House. The budget bills will next move to a conference committee to reconcile the differences between the two chambers. For more on the late night Senate debate, see this AP article.

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