According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Missouri is one of 32 states facing a current or future budget gap. Analysts project Missouri's budget gaps to occur in the 2010 fiscal year and beyond.
Executive Director of the Missouri Budget Project, Amy Blouin, says the budget crisis is due to the state revenue declining.
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|Description: The majority of the reason behind the future shortfall had to do with structural problems in the state's revenue system. However, with the economy and the downturn that we face in the current year, state revenue has actually been falling rather than growing. And the current year's budget is based on revenue growing at about 2.8 percent this year, and in fact, it's actually declined by more than 1 percent in the first four months of the fiscal year.|
Blouin says there has been an increase in poverty and a decrease in wages since 2001, and that with the upcoming budget crisis, it is looking like the state will not have enough revenue to face these problems.
Blouin says, though, that future governor Jay Nixon could help the crisis.
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|Description: Some of the policy proposals that the incoming governor has proposed actually draw down a significant amount of federal dollars, which could provide significant support not only to families and services but to the economy, which in turn helps the state's revenue. So actually many of the proposals that the new governor had are vital to helping stimulate growth in Missouri.|
Communications Director for the Jay Nixon campaign, Oren Shur, says Nixon is preparing for the upcoming budget crisis.
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|Description: Governor elect Nixon is taking a close look at the budget situation. Just yesterday, he appointed Senator Wayne Goode as an expert in budget and financial issues to conduct a review of the state budget situation. Clearly, we're in a national economic crisis and the state of Missouri is feeling that as well. Senator Goode is going to take a thorough look at the State budget situation, confirm exactly where we stand and what we need to do make sure we're both balancing the budget, acting in a fiscally responsible way and moving forward with the priorities that governor elect Nixon laid forward during the campaign.|
Shur says the Nixon campaign is optimistic that the new bipartisan legislature can work together to ease Missouri's financial crisis. Reporting from Jefferson City, I'm Rebecca Layne, KSMU.