A Missouri program that designates hospitals as stroke, heart attack and trauma centers is in limbo.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson vetoed about $154,000 for the program this fiscal year. Health department director Randall Williams told the House Budget Committee Tuesday that the plan was to fund it with hospital user fees instead of state money, but that hasn’t been implemented.

Williams said the agency can continue the program using existing funds. But House Budget Chairman Scott Fitzpatrick says Parson’s veto killed the program, at least temporarily.

Fitzpatrick says it could continue only if lawmakers override Parson’s veto in September or approve additional funding next session.

Hospitals are designated through the program in an effort to connect heart attack, stroke and trauma patients with the best care as soon as possible.

Joe Raedle, Getty Images