Although he says the state’s budget situation is stronger than last year, Gov. Eric Greitens unveiled a spending proposal Monday that will cut funding for Missouri’s public universities.
The $28.7 billion blueprint, which includes $68 million less in state funding to universities and two-year schools, will now become the basis of negotiations between the second-year Republican governor and the GOP-controlled House and Senate.
A key factor behind the cuts is a rise in spending on Medicaid, a health care program for the poor and elderly that will cost the state more than $11 billion next year. Greitens described the rising costs as an “explosion” but said the answer is not to raise taxes.
The budget blueprint was released 12 days after Greitens acknowledged he had an affair with his former hairdresser in 2015. He refused to answer multiple questions regarding blackmail allegations and brushed off questions about whether the scandal could hurt his ability to deliver on the promises outlined in his budget.