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A Preview of the State of the State Address

Missouri's Governor Matt Blunt will give his State of the State Address Wednesday. During his speech, the governor will lay out his priorities for the legislative session. One of the issues Blunt has already identified as a top priority is an education proposal that has critics on both sides of the aisle. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports.

When a reporter asked Governor Matt Blunt on Tuesday if there would be any surprises during the State of the State Address, the governor remained tight-lipped.

But the governor has given some hints about what to expect...In the last week, he has said he'll propose a funding increase for facilities that provide residential care for children as well as a salary increase for state workers.

The governor also is expected to discuss his legislative priorities: One of those would require school districts to spend 65 percent of their budgets on classroom expenses that are outlined in the proposal.

Since Blunt unveiled that proposal last fall, it's received a cool reception from both Republicans and Democrats.

Springfield Democratic Representative Sara Lampe is a retired educator who headed the gifted program for Springfield Public Schools.

Some Republicans say the proposal should not dictate to local school boards how to spend their money.

Republican Representative Jim Viebrock says at first glance the idea of getting more money into the classroom seems like a good plan but he says school boards in his Greene County district have voiced concerns.

But the way the bill is written today may change.

Governor Matt Blunt indicated this week that he's willing to consider other versions of the bill.

Some lawmakers are pushing a watered-down proposal that would recommend, not require school districts spend 65 percent of their budgets on classroom expenditures.

Blunt says he'll work with lawmakers who have concerns about his proposal.

The education proposal will be one of several key issues the governor likely will address in his speech this evening.

Democrats will offer a response to the governor's address. Senate Democratic Leader Maida Coleman will deliver the response.