Missouri Legislature work session on the budget and school funding

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri lawmakers returned to Jefferson City Monday afternoon hoping to get as much done as they can with only three weeks left in the spring session.

The big task is to pass a state budget. The budget has gone through both the House and Senate, but now a team of negotiators from both chambers has to work out the differences.

The House wants to provide what is considered full funding of the formula that determines how much money is allotted to public schools. The Senate wants to provide about $50 million less for the formula and instead provide a $25 million boost to busing in public school districts.

Both chambers agree, however, on restoring governor Eric Greitens' proposed $70 million cut for the state's colleges and universities.

The budget has to be completed by next Friday, so House and Senate leaders say they want to give budget negotiators as much time as possible to work this week.

Legislators say they know they're sending this spending plan to an embattled governor, but they`re not letting that distract them from the task.

Lawmakers want to have the budget passed out of chambers by the end of the week so they can focus on other proposals.

Some of the bills generating buzz are a proposal to legalize smokeless medical marijuana, tax cuts for personal and corporate income and a bill to move the statewide public vote on ‘Right to Work’ from November to August.