Missouri faces ‘dire’ budget hole, may need $456 million in cuts

A new analysis of state finances shows Missouri lawmakers and Gov. Eric Greitens face a “dire” budget situation, with the state on track to spend $456 million more than it receives in the fiscal year beginning July 1.

With little appetite for raising taxes among the Republicans who control state government, that means cuts are likely on the way.

The report also shows that slower-than-anticipated revenue growth will leave the state nearly $40 million in the red when the current fiscal year ends on June 30. The revenue estimate is based on an analysis by nonpartisan state budget experts and outside consultants.

Greitens, a political newcomer, is expected to address that shortfall by cutting current spending in the coming days. Such action would come after then-Gov. Jay Nixon made $51 million in cuts last month.

In a prepared statement, Greitens did not specifically address what he plans to cut in order to balance this year’s budget. But Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick, R- Shell Knob, who chairs the House Budget Committee, said that along with trying to cut Medicaid costs, lawmakers will also target the cost of legal settlements, which have topped an estimated $17 million this year.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, St. Louis Public Radio

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