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Holden Releases Education Funding

Missouri Gov. Bob Holden (UPI file photo)
Missouri Gov. Bob Holden (UPI file photo)

By Matt Sepic, KWMU

St. Louis – Missouri State Budget Director Linda Luebbering says a delayed court case is the main reason why Governor Bob Holden decided today to release $127 million in state education funds.

Luebbering says it's not likely a Southwestern Bell tax lawsuit against the state will be resolved this fiscal year.

"We had set aside $50 million in anticipation of having to either settle, or having a court decree tell us to pay Southwestern Bell," Luebbering said. "So that $50 million is freed up."

Luebbering says other money has come from rising general revenues and a slowdown in tax credit redemptions.

Republicans in the Legislature, including House Budget Committee Chairman Carl Bearden, say the education money was available all along, but welcome the governor's decision to release it.

"Our position is our revenues have exceeded even our projections that we made last year, on which we based the budget," Bearden said. "And we've known for quite some time that the money was available for education, and have been calling on the governor to release it, and we're just glad that he did today."

Friday's announcement means public schools will get about the same amount of money this year that they received last year.