Missouri gets $95 million from feds

Saturday, June 21, 2003

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Missouri received its first federal payment of $95.1 million Friday under a tax-cut and state-aid package recently signed into law by President Bush.

The money comes just 10 days before the end of the state fiscal year.

But Linda Luebbering, the budget director for Democratic Gov. Bob Holden, said the money will be carried over into the fiscal year starting July 1 to help cover an expected shortfall.

Republican Sen. Jim Talent said Missouri also should receive about $36 million in federal Medicaid money within the next few days. That money comes from the same legislation.

"These federal dollars will help ease Missouri state government's budget crisis," Talent said in a statement. "Additionally, this federal assistance will help protect essential services for Missourians, including health care and education."

All told, Missouri should receive $398 million from the federal legislation over the next year. A second $95 million federal payment, which can be used on any essential government services, is expected in October.

Additional federal Medicaid payments -- totaling around $172 million -- are expected in the next four calendar quarters.

Luebbering said the extra federal Medicaid money reduces the amount the state has to spend on the health care program for the poor, elderly and disabled, thus freeing up state money for other parts of government.

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