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Missouri's budget woes continue

Missouri Budget Director Linda Luebbering
(KWMU File Photo)
Missouri Budget Director Linda Luebbering

By Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Jefferson City, Mo. – Governor Jay Nixon is planning more budget cuts, including eliminating more state jobs.

State Budget Director Linda Luebbering confirmed the news this afternoon. She says they don't know yet how much money will be cut or how many state layoffs there will be.

"We really need to work through the process of trying to find the best place to make these cuts...they're going to be difficult choices...none of it's easy, but we want to make sure (we're) making the best choices possible," Luebbering said.

An announcement on the budget and job cuts is expected in about two weeks.

Luebbering also says the state this week borrowed $150 million from its budget reserve fund, also known as the rainy day fund, to pay for teacher salaries and other expenses.

"We have payments to, for example, our Medicaid providers, the nursing homes, the hospitals, the doctors, and of course, just the normal operating of our correctional institutions," Luebbering said.

The latest dip into the fund brings the total amount borrowed this fiscal year to $350 million dollars, and the current remaining balance to around $170 million.

State law requires that the money borrowed from the budget reserve fund must be paid back by May 15th, 2010.