JEFFERSON CITY - The Senate Appropriations Committee voted to give an additional $20 million to higher education Wednesday.
The committee also passed next year's budget and sent it to the Senate floor. Exact numbers for the committee's budget were not yet available, but Senate Appropriations Committee Chair John Russell, R-Lebanon, said the budget total is "in the same range" as that passed by the House.
Under the Senate committee plan, secondary and elementary education would receive about $13 million less in general revenue then it would under the House budget.
Russell said higher than expected revenue collections would help make the extra $20 million for higher education possible.
Sen. Wayne Goode, D-St. Louis, said the budget is closer to being balanced than the one passed by the legislature last year. But, at the moment, it could spend more money than the state will have.
"The appropriations are a stretch," Goode said.
State revenue growth and the possible passage of bills that would increase revenue could put the number within reach, he said.
But higher education funding can still change. Next, the bill heads to the Senate floor, where more changes can be made. Russell said he expects the bills to come up for debate on the Senate floor early next week.
Once it is passed by the full Senate, members from the House and Senate will resolve differences between their versions of the bills in a conference committee. Funding can be added or subtracted during conference committee as well.