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(Jefferson City) (AP) – Missouri lawmakers are kicking off the state’s annual budgeting process this week.

The Senate Appropriations Committee will take public testimony on education and health care issues at a hearing Tuesday. Several House appropriations committees also are beginning to hold meetings.

Missouri is slated to spend $24 billion in the current fiscal year, which ends June 30.

State budget officials have projected 3.1 percent growth in general revenues for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1.

Gov. Jay Nixon will deliver his budget proposal before the annual State of the State address on Jan. 28. Nixon previously announced his intention to include expanded Medicaid coverage as part of his budget plan.

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