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Friday, May 9, 2008


Lawmakers on May 7 wrapped up work on a $22.44 billion state operating budget for the fiscal year beginning July1. The budget increases spending by $956.7 million, or 4.5 percent, over the current fiscal year. Despite the increase, the final budget is $502.5 million lower than what Gov. Matt Blunt had requested.

Lawmakers substantially trimmed Blunt’s spending request in large part due to a downturn in state revenue collections. Even with the cutbacks, the budget still spends more general revenue, which accounts for nearly 40 percent of total spending, than the state expects to collect in the coming fiscal year. General revenue spending will increase 5.4 percent with collections expected to rise by just 3.4 percent. Lawmakers are using a surplus set aside last year to cover the difference.

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