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Senate to Begin work on Budget

April 25, 2005
By: Dan Frumson
State Capital Bureau

Some Senate leaders say they are optimistic that Missouri's budget will pass on time without delay.

Dan Frumson has more from the state Capitol.

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It all comes together as the Senate begins to debate the twelve bills that make up Missouri's State budget.

Democratic Senator Chuck Graham of Boone County, says that the Senate changed some of the bills passed by the House.

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"The Senate also put some money back into medicaid and some of the health-care programs that the House wants to eliminate. And so they probably won't like that. And so you'll see discussion, I think really center around funds for higher education and funds for health-care and social services.

The Missouri Constitution requires the Senate to pass the budget one week before the end of session, which ends Friday, May thirteenth.

Senate Majority Leader Charles Shields of St. Joseph says the Senate is ahead of schedule and anticipates no problem in passing the budget before required.

From the state Capitol, I'm Dan Frumson.

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As the Senate begins to finalize the state budget, it seems they might agree on a few things.

Dan Frumson has more from the state Capitol.

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During the session, Democrats and Republicans in the Senate disagreed on a number of issues from medicaid to the name change of Southwest Missouri State University.

However, when it comes to the budget, Republican Senator Jon Dolan of St. Charles says there's little disagreement.

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"Many points of aggreement have been worked out, and it's looking pretty smooth. Hopefully what the opposition party and the Democrats will do is provide some good amendments, some solid ones and not just try to filibuster. So it looks right now that everyone is working together, and that'll be the case."

Even though Democrat Senator Chuck Graham says most disagreement is between the House and Senate, not Democrats and Republicans, he also says;

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"Oh there's always a chance of a filibuster in the Senate."

From the state Capitol, I'm Dan Frumson.

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Senate leaders believe the budget will pass ahead of its constitutional schedule.

Dan Frumson tells us why.

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The Missouri Constitution stipulates that the Senate must finalize the state budget no later than one week before the session's end.

Senate Majority Leader Charles Shields of St. Joseph says they hopes for a bipartisan effort to pass the budget.

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"As far that the Republican Senate members, I mean we're committed to getting the budget done on time. And it will happen. We have the numbers; we can do that. We don't... hopefully have to enter in to that kind of dialect where we have to use the strength of our majority, but if necessary we'll do that in order to pass the budget by our constitutional deadline."

Democrat Senator and Assistant Minority Leader Chuck Graham says he disagrees with the Senate's reduction of Missouri's higher education budget, and that that will be one of the main areas of debate.

From the state Capitol, I'm Dan Frumson.