Budget Bits from the Senate

There are a thousand fewer state full-time employees in the fiscal year going forward than were budgeted for the current fiscal year.  Any state position that’s been vacant for more than three months was eliminated.


Several close votes various controversial provisions.  The funding for the blind was restored by 18-16.  Republicans joining Democrats on that vote were: Sens. Crowell, Cunningham, Dixon, Kraus, Lembke, Pearce, Purgason, Ridgeway, Rupp, Schaaf and Stouffer.


And an attempt to remove 2% pay raised to state employees making less than $45K  failed by a vote of 15-17.  Republicans joining Democrats were: Sens. Brown, Dixon, Engler, Goodman, Kehoe, Pearce, Richard, Rupp, Schaefer and Wasson.  Absent from the vote were Sens. Chapelle-Nadal and Munzlinger.


Although the first budget bill, 2001 (public debt) was unanimous, none of the others were.  Sens. Crowell and Schaaf voted No on all the others.  And Sen. Lembke joined them except on 2002 (education).  Sen. Purgason also was a frequent No vote, joining them on nine of the budget bills.


Most of the “list of 12 demands” appeared to be met through substitutes offered by Sen. Schaefer. For example, Sen. Jane Cunningham’s priority about preventing a “quality rating system” was integrated into budget so that any pursuit of that would jeopardize the entire funding of the sponsoring organization.  The same language was inserted to prevent funding from reaching the Sue Shear Institute.


Originally in April 25 MOScout.