Missouri Legislature set to reconcile differences in budget

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – Missouri House and Senate lawmakers are set to reconcile differences in a $26 billion budget for next fiscal year.

House members Wednesday declined to adopt most of the sweeping changes made by the Senate.

One of the Senate’s most contested changes would grant lump sums to the social services, mental health and health departments rather than specific amounts for certain programs.

That plan by Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Kurt Schaefer also would cut $130 million in general revenue from the House proposal for most programs within those departments.

The Senate narrowly passed its version of the budget early Wednesday. House members later criticized the Senate approach, saying it would hamper lawmaker oversight of spending.

The differences are to be worked out by House and Senate negotiators.