The Battle Lines Have Been Drawn
In January, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) launched his opening salvo in what was sure to be a contentious session between the governor and the General Assembly regarding the fiscal year 2013 budget. Last week, the Missouri House passed its version of the fiscal year 2013 budget. Both budgets reflect differing priorities and seemingly difficult choices.
If both the governor’s and legislature’s actions indicate anything, there is seemingly nothing else to cut in the budget and thus the state is faced with the Scylla of higher education cuts and the corresponding tuition increases they entail, or the Charybdis of cutting health programs, specifically a program for the blind who do not qualify for Medicaid. However, despite proposed cuts in these programs, there are still egregious examples of programs that clearly have no business being funded but still receive taxpayer dollars.
I have previously blogged about programs such as the Missouri Wine & Grape Board and Missouri ethanol subsidies. According to the House Budget, the Missouri Wine & Grape board receives an appropriation of $1,826,275 while the state will appropriate $9,850,000 to various ethanol and biodiesel programs. Before fighting about whether to cut higher education or programs for the blind, shouldn’t state officials eliminate funding for programs like the two mentioned above?