Funding for seniors, disabled cut under new budget plan

Services for seniors and people with disabilities would be cut and funding for Missouri’s public colleges and universities would be hit under a state budget plan for next fiscal year unveiled Wednesday.

House and Senate negotiators laid out the plan with only days left before lawmakers’ Friday deadline to pass a budget for the fiscal year beginning in July.

Under the plan, core funding for public colleges and universities would be cut 6.6 percent. Budget leaders also want to reduce money for in-home and nursing care, which would mean seniors and people with disabilities would need to demonstrate greater need in order to get state help, possibly affecting nearly 8,000 Missourians.

The state would save millions of dollars by tightening eligibility for Medicaid services, but it could mean job losses from the closure of nursing homes and more elderly and disabled overwhelming hospital emergency rooms, where treatment is more expensive.

Lawmakers are crafting the state’s roughly $27 billion spending plan amid tight finances. State revenues have grown less than expected this fiscal year — 3.1 percent as of April, while 7 percent growth is needed to fully fund this year’s budget.

The budget now heads to the full House and Senate.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Jefferson City News Tribune


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