House hearings opening on Mo. budget plan

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri House committee has opened hearings on a Republican plan for the state budget.

House Budget Committee Chairman Ryan Silvey has outlined a spending plan that reverses Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon’s proposed cuts to public colleges and universities. But Silvey’s plan offsets the proposed education funding partly by eliminating a state aid program for the blind — a move that Nixon opposes.

Silvey’s proposal also adds $1 to Nixon’s recommendation for a $5 million increase to school districts. The state formula for basic aid to schools is to be more than $3 billion.

The budget committee started reviewing the spending plan Monday.

House Majority Leader Tim Jones says the budget could reach the House floor for debate as soon as the week of March 19.

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