Republican lawmakers seek speedy state budget process

A proposed budget for the fiscal year starting July 1 could move swiftly through the Missouri Legislature this week. House and Senate leaders say they hope to begin meeting by Thursday to hash out differences in the two chambers’ proposed budgets.

The Senate budget committee made significant changes to the budget it received from the House, lumping together the budgets for the departments of Mental Health, Health and Senior Services and Social Services into two separate groups and cutting spending for the departments.

House Speaker John Diehl, R-Town and Country, has not indicated how his chamber views the Senate plan.

The Republican-controlled legislature has prioritized speedy passage of a budget this year, due in part to a desire to exercise its new power — granted under Amendment 10, passed by voters last year — to override the governor if he decides to withhold money in the budget.

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