Mo. Senate panel backs funding for First Steps

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri Senate panel had endorsed a new funding source for a program that serves developmentally disabled children.

A Senate health committee amended a bill Monday to create a $55 million state fund from general revenues to be used for services to the disabled and low-income seniors.

The bill is intended to ensure there is no drop in funding for the First Steps program for disabled preschoolers, nor for several other initiatives.

Last week, the Legislature voted to fund First Steps and those other initiatives with revenues from the repeal of a tax break for low-income seniors and disabled people who live in rental housing. But Gov. Jay Nixon has said he is likely to veto that tax-credit repeal if it is not part of a broad-based tax credit overhaul.

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