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Politics

Advocates Fail to Sway Republicans

Hour after hour, members of the House budget committee listened to school officials, lobbyists for universities and social services advocates talk about the impact of budget cuts. Missy Shelton reports.

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People like Maryanne Harper spoke to the House budget committee, urging them to restore funding to programs that got slashed under the budget plan the governor vetoed last week.

Harper says a state-funded facility succeeded in helping her kick her substance abuse problem where other programs had failed.

At least one Republican lawmaker said the testimony didn't change his mind about the plan from democaratic governor Bob Holden to offset budget cuts by putting a tax increase package on the ballot..

Representative Bryan Stevenson.

While that may be the case in Stevenson's Southwest Missouri district, Jim Tushcer says in a statewide election, there would be support for higher taxes.

Tuscher is an advocate for the disabled...He urged lawmakers to let the people make the choice.

But the people have already spoken on the issue of higher taxes, according to Stevenson.

He says in recent elections involving increased funding for local schools, voters have rejected tax increases.

Given the tough anti-tax stance most Republican lawmakers have taken, some democrats are exploring the possibility of putting a tax increase package on the ballot through an initiative petition.

From Jefferson City, I'm Missy Shelton.