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Missouri House passes state budget

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JEFFERSON CITY, MO (KPLR) – Missouri lawmakers could fully fund K-12 public schools this year. It's something that has never been done since lawmakers passed the current formula used to dish out state money to schools in 2005.

You could call K-12 education the biggest winner in the budget process right now, because when the Missouri House passed its budget plan, it made cuts to many programs and eliminated a popular tax credit for low-income seniors who rent their homes.

The House budget plan adds about $50 million of funding over last year to fully fund the formula. It also restores cuts to K-12 transportation, funding Governor Eric Greitens had announced as part of his budget proposal.

While K-12 gets an increase, the House cut the budget for the University of Missouri System by 9 percent and other state universities by 6.6 percent.

Fully funding schools appears realistic this year because last year lawmakers passed a bill capping how much money is needed for full funding.

Fox 2 spoke to the Senate's chief budget writer Tuesday, who said he's concerned about a law which requires the state to reimburse school districts for providing early childhood education if K-12 is ever fully funded.

After the house passed the budget last week, it's now the senate's turn.

Lawmakers face a May 5 deadline to get the spending plan passed.