Mo. budget balance hangs on assumptions

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri House leaders have declared the $23 billion budget sent to Gov. Jay Nixon to be balanced. But it likely is not. In fact, the budget only comes close to being considered balanced by making a variety of assumptions.

The 2011 budget assumes Medicaid costs will grow by less than originally projected; it assumes savings as a result of several bills that have yet to pass the Legislature; and it tallies additional savings by shuffling money among earmarked accounts.

Nixon's budget office says the governor likely will have to make line-item vetoes and additional cuts to ensure that the budget is balanced when it takes effect July 1.

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