Gov. Greitens announces his plan to balance Missouri's budget - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Gov. Greitens announces his plan to balance Missouri's budget

(Source: KFVS) (Source: KFVS)

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens announced on Monday, January 16 $146.4 million of spending restrictions constitutionally required to balance Missouri's budget.

Missouri's budget is suffering from reduced revenue due to poor economic growth. According to a statement released by the Greitens administration, said revenue is being drained by special interest tax credits and the faster-than-projected growth in healthcare expenditures, driven in part by what the governor calls the national impact of Obamacare.

Over the next 18 months, more than $700 million in budget cuts are required just to make the budget balance and retain Missouri's AAA credit rating.

Gov. Greitens said he is strongly committed to funding Missouri families' priorities, like K-12 education and public safety.

"Not a single penny will be taken out of K-12 classrooms," Greitens promised in a social media video.

The restrictions include no cuts to the Foundation Formula that funds K-12 classroom education. There were no cuts to programs essential to public safety, and all of the state's pension and health care obligations will also be honored.

The restrictions were targeted, to the extent possible, at rolling back earmarks, new spending items, programs with no established track record of success and services that are duplicated elsewhere in government.

"You elected me because I’ll always tell it like it is, and more hard choices lie ahead," Gov. Greitens said. "But as Missourians, I believe that we must come together, tighten our belts, be smart and wise with our tax dollars, and work our way out of this hole by bringing more jobs with higher pay to the people of Missouri.

"I do not believe the answer to unwise budgeting is to raise taxes on hardworking families who are struggling just to make it by. The answer is simple: government must become more efficient, and we must build a thriving economy with more jobs and higher pay.

We are currently awaiting response to Greitens' proposal from Democrats, who Greitens claimed he inherited the state's current fiscal dilemma from.

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