Missouri’s budget is likely to be $340 million in the red by June 30.

That was the bottom line this morning from former Sen. Wayne Goode, who is analyzing the state’s financial situation for Gov.-elect Jay Nixon. Goode, a former senator from St. Louis County, delivered his grim assessment in a conference call with reporters.

The numbers mean that Nixon, who will be sworn in on Jan. 12, will likely have to wield his budget axe immediately. By law, the state cannot run a deficit.

Goode wouldn’t speculate on how Nixon would cover the budget gap, saying only that the governor-elect is working on “efficiencies” and will announce some initial steps to control spending within the next few days.

I’ll make sure to evaluate tapes about World War I trench-warfare as preparation for the 2009 General Assembly Session. Let’s be honest, it might be bowling-shoe ugly.