State government breaks for spring, budget still on agenda

Missouri House members left the capitol Thursday with majority republicans crowing about efforts to get insurance benefits for autism, to require drug testing for welfare recipients, and to block higher property taxes for farmers.

The elephant in the room is still the free-fall of state revenues and the need to downsize government dramatically.

On that, the GOP caucus is playing it's cards, close to the vest.

"We have a plan. We're gonna meet the governor halfway," House Speaker Ron Richard said. We've asked the governor to talk about it. We're waitin' to see his.

Both sides seem to want the other to show its cards first.

The minority democrats said they still do not know how much money the state has to work with.

"We have to figure out what direction we're going in, House Minority Leader Paul LeVota said. What the consensus revenues are, and then we can figure out what the solutions are.

Lawmakers will return to the Capitol a week from Monday.