For more than three years now, Gov. Jay Nixon's administration has faced a constant, and often controversial, battle to keep the state's budget balanced, as the Constitution requires.
And, as he enters his fourth year in office, his financial plan includes permanently removing 816 more jobs from the state's payroll.
But that number doesn't mean the governor announced a completely new round of job cuts last week, in his State of the State address and budget proposal submitted to lawmakers.
"For example," state Budget Director Linda Luebbering told reporters last week, "this builds in MoDOT's five-year plan - that's the 604 (jobs)" - which means three-fourths of the job reductions Nixon announced are not "new" cuts, because the Highways and Transportation Commission approved Transportation administrators' "Bolder Five-Year Direction" plan last summer.
That plan includes the elimination of the equivalent of 1,196 full-time MoDOT jobs by the end of March 2013 - working from a February 2010 starting point.