Lawmakers give $24 million to state parks, skip higher education projects
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Lawmakers give $24 million to state parks, skip higher education projects

Date: May 8, 2013
By: Katie Kreider
State Capitol Bureau
Links: HB 19

Lawmakers passed a bill Wednesday that would give state parks $24 million, even though many higher education projects remain underfunded and unfinished.
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Wrap: Lawmakers gave state parks $24 million from Missouri's general revenue for maintenance and repair to surface water and historical sites.

But this extra money only adds to the parks' already large budget.

State parks have taxing authority under the Missouri Constitution, which gives them about $80 million dollars per year.

Republican Senator Ryan Silvey says the state does not need to fund an institution that funds itself.

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Description: "And now they need us to give them another $20 million--which is 25% of their annual allocation--to do some repairs on what they already have."

Silvey says the extra money should go to funding higher education projects that remain unfinished from last year.

Reporting from the state Capitol, I'm Katie Kreider.

Missouri lawmakers made the decision Wednesday to give more funding to state parks at the expense of higher education projects.
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Wrap: On the Senate floor Wednesday, Republican Senator Ryan Silvey read pages and pages of higher education projects that remain unfinished.

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Description: "Missouri Southern State University Health Sciences Building--$18.9 million is what we appropriated, $15.2 is what's been spent. Are we gonna finish that project? No."

His push for more higher education funding was in response to the $24 million that will be provided to state parks for repair and maintenance.

Silvey says the governor does not want to start the projects back up in order to keep the budget surplus.

But supporters of the bill say they do not want to allocate money to the same higher education project more than once, saying that it is "fiscally irresponsible."

Reporting from the state Capitol, I'm Katie Kreider.

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