Senate Leaders Respond to Governor’s Questionable Budget Withholds
“The Legislature takes its duty to craft the operating budget for the state of Missouri very seriously. The decisions are never easy, and they are never taken lightly. Through the budget process this session, the Legislature fought for the priorities of our constituents, but unfortunately the governor doesn’t share those same priorities.”
Senate Leader Ron Richard
“The governor’s budget originally included a much higher growth than what the Legislature appropriated, but he doesn’t give a clear explanation of why he is withholding money for programs that will directly benefit the people of Missouri. Funding programs like the Show-Me ECHO program, a cost-effective, knowledge-sharing network, leads to better health outcomes for patients, especially in rural areas, and can fundamentally change people’s lives. The program has already shown an estimated $6 million in savings, but the governor would rather pass up the opportunity to save more by expanding the program.
He also withheld funding for the much needed field staff increase in the Children’s Division and mental health services for abused children. These are all programs, that when funded can get care and treatment out to people living across the state. I don’t understand the why the governor continues to put up roadblocks to protect the children in this state.”
Appropriations Chairman Sen. Kurt Schaefer
Senate leaders also said they are looking into options of overriding the $115.5 million in withholds during the annual veto session on Sept. 14, 2016, but said it’s too early to make any decisions.
The power to override the governor’s withholds was given to the Legislature after Missouri voters passed Amendment 10 (House Joint Resolution 72) in 2014. The constitutional amendment provides the Legislature with effective oversight and checks and balances on the governor’s questionable decisions to withhold funding to vital state services.
Lauren Hieger, Senate Majority Caucus Communications Director
(573) 751-7266 – firstname.lastname@example.org