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JEFFERSON CITY - The biggest cuts in Gov. Jay Nixon's budget proposal are $191 million from Medicaid and $89 million from higher education.

Nixon's budget director Linda Luebbering just handed out copies of his 2013 budget proposal. The Legislature has until early May to reshape the budget and send it to Nixon.

Luebbering said the governor's priorities include K-12 education, which gets $5 million net increase in aid. But higher education takes a 12.5 percent cut from current year funding under the proposal. She said college scholarship funding would remain unchanged.

Nixon's budget would eliminate 816 state jobs, but Luebbering said it's possible the cuts can be made through attrition.

Nixon, a Democrat, and the Legislature's Republican budget leaders have agreed to base next year's budget on projected growth of 3.9 percent, or about $285 million.

But that uptick will not be enough to offset the end of federal stimulus money and a reduction in the rate the federal government pays for Medicaid, the health care program for the poor. The budget gap for the year that begins July 1 has been estimated at $500 million.



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