Missouri Governor’s Building Plan Gets Icy Reception From Lawmakers

By on February 13, 2018

From St. Louis Post-Dispatch:  State lawmakers are threatening to bulldoze Gov. Eric Greitens’ plan to create a $25 million fund to help spur job growth in Missouri.

During a hearing Monday night, members of the House Budget Committee expressed surprise that the Republican governor would ask for the new funding at a time when he is proposing to cut higher education by $68 million, as well as cut taxes for individuals and businesses.

“If we do all these new projects I think that’s really great. But then on the other hand, he took all the money out of higher education,” said Rep. Donna Lichtenegger, R-Jackson. “If we don’t have the people trained to do these jobs, there’s a disconnect there.”

Rep. Michael Butler, D-St. Louis, also was critical of the governor’s decision to cut funding for the state’s public universities and colleges at the same time he wants to launch the program.

“That’s going to increase tuition for normal folks,” Butler said.

The infrastructure improvement plan would provide money to help municipalities build roads, bridges, water lines and other infrastructure when companies are looking to expand or locate in Missouri.

It is part of a $28.7 billion budget proposal outlined by Greitens last month. The new fund is among several key pieces of the spending blueprint that may not survive the legislative budgeting process. Leaders in the House and Senate also said a $250 million loan fund to help Missouri pay income tax returns on time also may be jettisoned.

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