JEFFERSON CITY - Special education received some relief from planned cuts during the House debate on Elementary and Secondary Education Wednesday. Legislators ultimately voted to restore $15 million in special education funding, but not before debate on taking supplemental funds to do so.
Rep. Tim Green, the House Budget Committee Chair, warned against moving money from the supplemental funds, which are set aside for unforseen costs that occur after a fiscal year has begun. Green said those funds, which have already been cut by $40 million so far in the budget process, are used to reimburse health care providers under the state's Medicaid obligations. Further cuts to what is set aside could lower the amount paid to providers, possibly causing some to drop out of the program and jeopardizing service to participants.
Rep. Jason Crowell, R-Cape Girardeau, said a vote against using the supplemental funds was a vote against special education.
"Any of these other arguments about this or that ring hollow to me," Crowell said.