Missouri lawmakers begin laying the groundwork this week for what's expected to be a difficult budget process.
The Senate Appropriations Committee is to hear public testimony Monday and Tuesday on spending for education, public safety, social services and various other government programs.
The House appropriations committee for economic development issues is to meet Wednesday.
Legislative committees typically start hearing pleas for spending before their session officially begins in early January. Gov. Jay Nixon is to outline his budget proposals later in January.
They will be working on a budget to take effect July 1.