Republican Sen. Kurt Schaefer of Columbia on Thursday recommended cutting $6 million from the FY 14 budget proposed by Gov. Jay Nixon and approved by the House for the Missouri Division of Tourism. The Senate Appropriations Committee, chaired by Schaefer, approved the cut, reducing the FY 14 budget to $13 million.

The budget will now go to the full Senate where some or all of the $6 million could be restored, an unlikely move. Differences between budgets approved by the House and Senate will be worked out by a Conference Committee for which members have not yet been selected.

The Division of Tourism faced the same challenge last year when the Appropriations Committee led by Schaefer reduced the budget from $13 million to $10 million. The budget was later restored to $13 million by the Conference Committee.

According to a performance-based funding formula (RSMo.620.467) established by state legislation, the budget for the Division of Tourism should be about $32 million.

The Missouri Division of Tourism markets the state as a travel destination through a variety of programs, including advertising, public relations, etc. It also has a Cooperative Marketing Program in which Destination Marketing Organizations, such as the Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau, match funds for marketing programs. Reductions in the division’s budget directly affect marketing budgets for DMOs throughout the state.

The CVB will keep you updated as the budget progresses through the legislative process.