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House Begins Debate on Budget

May 4, 2005
By: Andrea Ramey
State Capital Bureau

Missouri's House began floor debates today (Wednesday) on the state budget for fiscal year 2006.

Early floor debates concerned funding for public elementary and secondary education.

Andrea Ramey has more from the state Capitol...

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Many Democrats spoke in opposition to House Bill 2, which outlines school funding for fiscal year 2006.

Democrats cited Republican's lack of fully funding the Foundation Formula as their reasoning.

The Foundation Formula is the state's formula used to distribute state money to schools.

Democratic Representative Connie Johnson of St. Louis voted against the bill and says schools in her district hurt as a result of the underfunding.

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Contents: "Public education, if it is truly about public education, is funded equitably no matter what somebody's zip code is... "

Many Republicans spoke in favor of the bill.

Representative Brad Lager of Maryville says there will never be enough money to satifsy everyone.

From the state Capitol, I'm Andrea Ramey.

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Republicans and Democrats continued late in the afternoon today (Wednesday) to duke it out over the 2006 fiscal year state budget.

Andrea Ramey has more from the state Capitol...

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Democrats claim massive monetary waste is taking place within the state.

Representative Harold Selby Cedar Hill suggested Missouri should not buy office furniture for any government agency or department for one year.

Minority Floor Leader Jeff Harris of Columbia asked lawmakers whether or not they had truly tried to find instances of government waste.

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Contents: "But we shouldn't also be accepting at face value, particularly when we have tools at our disposal to look into more detail, as to what each agency is doing at a time when we are kicking people off of healthcare."

Republican Brad Lager of Maryville says it is impossible for the legislature to be accountable for every pencil and office chair in the state.

From the state Capitol, I'm Andrea Ramey.