State News Briefs

Higher education budget cut by Senate

Higher education in Missouri, already 46th in the nation for Higher Education, faces an additional almost five percent cut in the budget appropriations bill passed in the Senate on April 26.

Gov. Matt Blunt proposed a budget keeping appropriations stable, and the Missouri House passed a budget for higher education in line with Blunt’s proposal.

The Senate Appropriations Committee last week cut almost five percent from higher education in order to ease cuts to Missouri Medicaid.

The five percent cut for Southern amounts to about $900,000.

The House and Senate must now work together in a conference committee to finalize the state budget before the deadline next week.

State carries out Jones execution

Despite pleas from the victim’s family and a clemency recommendation from a Probation and Parole committee, Gov. Matt Blunt supported the decision of the court and jury and permitted the execution of Donald Jones on April 27.

“The recommendation was we grant clemency,” Blunt said. “I believe the execution needs to go forward in the best interest of the state justice system.”

Jones brutally stabbed his grandmother, Dorothy Knuckles, because he was seeking money for drugs.

“I believe the only appropriate penalty was the death penalty,” Blunt said.

Up to the minute legislative actions

Keep up with the action at the capitol with up to the date news stories. Missouri Digital News operated by the state government reporting program at the University of Missouri School of Journalism posts up-to-date stories.

The Web site contains links to bills dating back to 1995 and has a search function to find news stories about specific lawmakers or topics.

For more information, visit the MDN Web Site at

Review Commission takes testimony

The Government Review Commission completed a series of meetings with state department leaders and the University of Missouri to review current budgets and organizational structures.

Gov. Matt Blunt established the Commission to examine the executive departments from top-to-bottom and to make recommendations on how state government can address inefficiencies, achieve cost savings and provide better service. The last major government reorganization effort was in 1974.

“We are very serious about hearing from the public,” Steven Bradford, Commission Co-chair said. “Thirty years is a long time not to make any changes.

Our process this time will be much more open to the public than before, and we know that Missourians and their representatives will tell us how their government can better serve them.”

Six Commission Task Forces will hear testimony on government functions.

“Making state government as efficient and as responsive to the people as possible is our objective,” said Warren Erdman, Commission Co-chair.

“We’ve heard from the leaders of state government. Now we want to hear from the people,” Erdman said.

Hearings are in the Senate Lounge on the third floor of the state capitol.