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After two days of debate, the Missouri House gave first round approval to the state's budget for the fiscal year that begins July first. KSMU's Missy Shelton has been in Jefferson City covering the debate and files this report.
During the two days the House debated the budget, there were several contentious issues.
It came as no surprise when there was partisan disagreement over funding for Medicaid.
During debate, Democratic Representative Melba Curls of Jackson County urged lawmakers to oppose the budget because it doesn't provide enough funding for the state's healthcare program for the poor.
Republicans say they've crafted a responsible budget that provides Medicaid coverage to Missourians who need it.
Republican Representative Chuck Portwood of St Louis County said the budget includes increased funding for Medicaid.
Even with those increases, Democrats say it's not nearly enough.
They point to the Medicaid cuts Republican lawmakers approved last year.
Democratic Representative Judy Baker of Columbia says with the state's revenue up, the legislature should restore more of the Medicaid cuts.
Another democratic representative, Margaret Donnelly of St Louis County also criticized Republicans for not doing more to fund Medicaid.
Donnelly serves on the House Budget Committee and is a member of the Medicaid Reform Commission.
But Republicans say the responsibility to take care of the needy has to be balanced with the responsibility to look after the interest of taxpayers.
Republican Representative Allen Icet of St Louis County is the chairman of the Budget Committee and a member of the Medicaid Reform Commission.
Lawmakers earlier this session approved a bill that restores some of the ticket-to-work program, which allows disabled individuals to earn a living and still qualify for Medicaid.
Republican Representative Chuck Portwood is sponsoring the bill.
He says that bill and the budget reflect a sensible approach to re-building the Medicaid program.
He says the cuts last year were necessary.
The House budget proposal faces a final vote before it moves to the Senate.