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Lawmakers, governor at odds on how to spend $80 million

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri’s governor faces a showdown with the Legislature over an unexpected budget windfall.

The state had set aside $80 million to fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program when federal funding was in danger. But now that federal funding is guaranteed for the near future, there are competing visions over what to do with the remaining money.

Republican Gov. Eric Greitens wants to pump more money into rural Missouri, using all of the available funds to invest in broadband access, water initiatives and other projects.

The chairmen of the House Budget Committee and Senate Appropriations Committee want to use some of that money to restore cuts that Greitens had proposed to higher education institutions.

Lawmakers will start making budget decisions later this month.

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