Weekly Column for June 20
This year, the Missouri General Assembly passed a balanced and fiscally responsible state operating budget for the upcoming fiscal year. This balanced budget reflects our priorities, and its passage marks the fulfillment of our only constitutionally-mandated duty. Our $30 billion state operating budget will fund all functions of state government for Fiscal Year 2020.
After lawmakers passed the final version of the 2020 state operating budget in May, it was sent to the governor for his consideration. At this point in the process, the governor has the ability to veto specific “line-items” within the budget. On June 10, the governor signed the FY 2020 state operating budget into law, approving it in full. In addition, I’m pleased to report that he did not issue any vetoes or funding withholds for the 2020 state budget. I believe the actions taken by the governor would not have happened without the excellent work completed by members of the Missouri House of Representatives’ Budget Committee, the Missouri Senate’s Appropriations Committee and their staff. The lawmakers and staff that make up these important committees dedicated a majority of their time this session to passing a balanced budget that represents our priorities, and I am proud of their work.
Here are some of the highlights from this year’s budget:
House Bill 2– Fully Funds the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Foundation Formula for K-12 education. This includes a $61 million increase over last year’s appropriation, as well as an increase of $5 million for school transportation costs. In our rural school districts, this funding increase is critical to ensuring our students safely make it to school.
House Bill 4- Includes important funding to help Missourians suffering from the devastating floods occurring all over our state. It also funds the Department of Revenue and the Missouri Department of Transportation. Included in this budget bill is an appropriation for the governor’s bridge repair plan that I sponsored this session.
House Bill 7– This spending bill funds the Departments of Labor; Economic Development; and Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration. This includes appropriations for a number of the governor’s priorities involving workforce development and the reorganization of several state departments.
House Bill 9- This bill provides funding for the Missouri Department of Corrections and includes a pay plan increase to attract and retain correctional officers. We have had a big problem in our state with turnover among corrections officers, and I firmly believe this new pay plan is a way to address this important issue.
House Bill 11– This $9.7 billion appropriation funds Medicaid and the Department of Social Services and makes up roughly one-third of the state budget. Most of this money is from the federal government and not from our state’s general revenue.
Work has already begun on the budget for Fiscal Year 2021. We will continue working to ensure that Missouri’s budget is fiscally responsible and focused on the priorities that are important to all Missourians.
It is an honor to serve you in the Missouri Senate. Please do not hesitate to contact my office at (573) 751-3678 or by email at email@example.com if you have any questions.