JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri's counties will help balance the state's $23.3 billion budget next year - whether they like it or not. Falling state revenue and the need to make state spending cuts turned lawmakers to money that goes to counties for providing state services. County governments will have the same duties assigned to them but will receive less money for it.
Counties now essentially face an underfunded mandate to house inmates, value property and prevent kids from buying alcohol and cigarettes. Lawmakers hope to save over $10 million with the changes. Even with the partial reimbursements from the state, counties will struggle to pay the bills because they cannot make midyear budget cuts.