- Two men accused of selling meth to undercover cop (6/22/17)
- Cape man stabbed in head, arm after strip-club incident; skull fractured, police say (6/25/17)3
- Custom cuts: Local hairstylist provides free haircuts to special-needs children (6/26/17)3
- Police: Man grabbed wheel, tried to kill driver and himself in Jackson crash (6/23/17)
- Jackson scores high in survey of residents; better streets, Aldi are high priorities (6/20/17)4
- Annual SEMO District Fair event lineup announced (6/23/17)2
- Marble Hill mayor hires city manager without board approval (6/21/17)4
- Oran town board fired officer before hiring him as police chief; city officials say they can't remember reason for firing (6/25/17)2
- Playing with fire (6/25/17)
- Two charged in theft of jewelry from Cape storage facility (6/23/17)1
Governments at every level are working hard to stretch revenue to cover the many programs and services they provide. Some states -- California and Illinois come to mind -- face shortfalls in the billions of dollars. In Missouri, the recently ended legislative session addressed most of the cuts needed to keep the budget balanced, but the spending plan sent to Gov. Jay Nixon will require further slicing of hundreds of millions of dollars.
One way the legislature helped hold the line on expenses was to reduce reimbursements to counties for housing state prisoners and for assessing property. State budget officials say these cuts will reduce spending by $5 million and $5.5 million respectively.
The state has been reimbursing sheriff's departments $22 a day for prisoners. The new rate will be about $19.50 a day. Cape Girardeau County officials say the cost of housing a state prisoner is $37.50 a day. The difference must be borne by the county.
Some counties are looking for alternatives. One option being considered in Scott County is letting some prisoners opt for house arrest with electronic monitoring -- for a fee of $10 a day.
Ideas like this will be necessary as counties look for ways to cope with less state funding.