Missouri Lawmaker Proposes Unique Budget “Fix”

February 26, 2010 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – A Missouri lawmaker has introduced a bill that might just be the “ticket” to dealing with the state’s budgetary situation.

According to the bill’s sponsors, it was designed to amend chapter 26, RSMo, “by adding thereto one new section relating to the Nixon-Obama let’s gamble on Missouri’s future fund.”      

Sponsored by Rep. Mark Parkinson, House Bill No. 2131 would call for the creation in the state treasury of the “Governor Nixon’s Federal Scratch-Off, Match-Off Fund”, to consist of moneys collected under this section.  Those moneys would be the result of a regular purchase of a Powerball lottery ticket on behalf of the citizens of the state of Missouri. 

Two dollars would be deducted from the governor’s personal pay and deposited to the fund each regular state employee pay period – and each week a dollar would be withdrawn for the lottery ticket purchase.

Any winnings would be deposited into the fund “until such time as the fund balance exceeds three hundred million dollars”, at which time the legislation says that the governor shall have the authority to dissolve the fund and transfer the moneys in the fund to the general revenue fund “for the purpose of filling any current budget shortfall.”

Why $300 million?  According to the Associated Press, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, a Democrat, has proposed a $23.9 billion state operating budget that includes an estimated $300 million based on the assumption that Congress will extend federal stimulus payments to states by an extra six months.  Needless to say (perhaps), Parkinson is a Republican. 

You can read the bill online at http://www.house.mo.gov/billtracking/bills101/biltxt/intro/HB2131I.htm