Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has vetoed or frozen more than $1.1 billion of spending in Missouri's next budget, citing concerns about declining state revenues and the potential for new tax breaks.
Nixon's budget cuts announced Tuesday include nearly $275 million of line-item vetoes and $846 million of spending restrictions affecting everything from public education to Medicaid.
The Democratic governor said his actions were necessary because the budget passed by the Republican-led Legislature was "dangerously out of balance."
Those cuts mean devastation for the state's Department of Mental Health, including a reduction of $1.5 million and elimination of 66 regional office staff positions across the state.
Bob Bax is the Director of Public and Legislative Affairs for the Missouri Department of Mental Health and he says the Kirksville Regional Office is among the organizations experiencing cuts.
According to Bax, effective December 15 of this year, the Developmental Disabilities Regional Office in Kirksville will lose 9 positions. The office will remain open for all services, but management of the office will be transferred to the Central Missouri Regional Office located in Columbia.
13 people will remain employed in Kirksville and the remaining staff will continue performing critical services such as eligibility determination, quality enhancement, contract provider monitoring, service coordination, consumer advocacy and crisis services for the residents of Northeast Missouri.
Missouriâ??s Department of Mental Health budget was reduced by about $34 million for fiscal year 2015. A full list of reductions to the department can be found here.
The budget is set to take effect July 1.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.