Missouri Senate prepares for budget debate this week

Although state lawmakers spend hours and hours considering, writing, debating and voting on bills on many subjects, Missouri’s Constitution requires the Legislature to do only one thing each year: Pass a budget for the business year that begins July 1 and ends on the following June 30.

This week, the state Senate is ready to debate its changes to the more than $23 billion in measures the House passed late last month.

The Senate’s 26 Republican members held a closed-door caucus Thursday, where they talked about the budget plan.

“We had a healthy discussion,” Senate President Pro Tem Rob Mayer, R-Dexter, told reporters, “and some of the concerns, and what we need to look to do as we move into the future with the budget of this state.”

Sen. Jim Lembke, R-Lemay, is an Appropriations Committee member.

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“I think the Day of Reckoning is next year,” Lembke said. “I do not see forthcoming any more federal stimulus money or bailout money for the states, with the Republican majorities and the battle that’s going on in Washington, D.C., currently.”

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