Governor Blunt's Budget Proposal Shake Things Up In The Show-Me State - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Poplar Bluff -- Heather Flanigan Reports

Governor Blunt's Budget Proposal Shake Things Up In The Show-Me State

January 27, 2005 – Posted at 5:10 p.m. CST

POPLAR BLUFF -- Newly elected Missouri Governor Matt Blunt is already making some changes in the Show-Me State. A new budget proposal is offering more money for education, but cutting a thousand state jobs.

Poplar Bluff Superintendent Randy Winston said, “Governor Blunt had eluded to this in his campaign and a lot of times promises are made and they're not kept. I've been in this business for 30 years, and when the check comes, then I'll be sure that it really happens.”

In other words, Superintendent Winston says he'll believe it when he sees it.

“Right now, what he's proposing is a little bit more money for the Parents as Teachers program, and also for disabled students,” said Winston.

The proposed budget would also allow more funding for the A+ program which offers high school students scholarships in exchange for tutoring and community service work. Winston says it could help out the school population also.

“Some of our buildings are a little bit overcrowded, I would like to reduce that number in some of our classrooms,” said Winston.

While Governor Blunt's $19.2 billion dollar program wouldn't add any additional taxes, however, it would increase public education funding to $171 million dollars for schools.

“This is good news and hopefully it all does come to fruition. I think he's make the first step and is taking it in the right direction,” said Winston.

But Governor Blunt's new proposals will have a cost. Seniors at the Twin Towers Senior Center are worried because health care programs may be on the chopping block.

“I don't really know all the people who would be hurt by it, but some people would be hurt by it, I’m sure,” said worried senior Mildred Coursey.

Blunt says the state could save $626 million dollars by tightening the standards for Medicaid recipients.

Something seniors don't agree with “I'm very much concerned about it, you bet. I don't really think it's too good of an idea,” said concerned senior Bob Brannum.

“That would be a disaster for us, that's what Medicaid recipients are dependent upon, and I don't particularly go for that very much myself,” said senior Edward Coursey.

The governor made his budget announcement last night in his State of the State address.

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