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House Panel Approves Budget

The Republican budget plan has the approval of a House committee. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports.

LAWMAKERS ON THE HOUSE BUDGET COMMITTEE APPROVED THE BUDGET ON A NEAR PARTY LINE VOTE.

DEMOCRATS ON THE COMMITTEE LIKE ST LOUIS REPRESENTATIVE BARBARA FRASER SAY CUTS IN THE BUDGET GO TOO FAR.

BUT REPUBLICANS DEFEND THE BUDGET, CALLING IT A RESPONSIBLE SPENDING PLAN THAT DOESN'T RELY ON TAX INCREASES TO FUND STATE PROGRAMS.

SPRINGFIELD REPUBLICAN REPRESENTATIVE ROY HOLAND SAYS IT'S TIME TO REIGN IN SOME STATE PROGRAMS THAT HAVE BECOME A DRAIN ON STATE RESOURCES.

UNLIKE MOST OF HIS REPUBLICAN COLLEAGUES, HOLAND HAD SUPPORTED PUTTING A TAX INCREASE PACKAGE ON THE BALLOT'BUT NOW HE SAYS IT MAY NOT BE NECESSARY SINCE STATE REVENUE COLLECTIONS ARE UP.

HOLAND CAN'T SEEK RE-ELECTION BECAUSE OF TERM LIMITS BUT HE URGES LAWMAKERS WHO DO RETURN TO THE CAPITOL NEXT YEAR TO TAKE A CLOSE LOOK AT WHETHER OR NOT TAX INCREASES ARE NECESSARY.

HE SAYS THERE ARE COMPELLING STATE NEEDS.

REPUBLICAN LAWMAKERS AREN'T THE ONLY ONES WHO ARE HESITANT TO SUPPORT TAX INCREASES ON INDIVIDUALS.

DEMOCRATIC REPRESENTATIVE BARBARA FRASER SAYS LAWMAKERS SHOULD LOOK ELSEWHERE FIRST'FOR EXAMPLE, SHE SAYS SHE SUPPORTS TAXING LARGE CORPORATIONS THAT DON'T PAY MISSOURI INCOME TAXES.

THE BUDGET NOW MOVES TO THE HOUSE FLOOR WHERE LAWMAKERS WILL DEBATE THE SPENDING PLAN FOR FISCAL YEAR 2005, WHICH BEGINS JULY FIRST.

I'M MISSY SHELTON FOR KSMU NEWS.