Sen. Dan Hegeman’s Weekly Column, for the Week of April 6: Dealing with a Pandemic

Dealing with a Pandemic

As Missourians continue to struggle with not only the coronavirus, but also its aftereffects, I believe the real work is only beginning. Unemployment is up, jobs and businesses are disappearing, and many people are wondering how we will recover from all of this.

After a three-week hiatus from the normal day-to-day operations of the legislative session, lawmakers will return to Jefferson City this week to try and tackle these questions. The Missouri General Assembly only has one constitutional obligation, which is to pass a balanced budget by a certain date in May, and we will. But first, I believe we must address the current fiscal year’s funding issues before moving forward with next year’s budget.

Missouri’s fiscal year runs from July 1 through June 30 of the year following. Some years, lawmakers pass supplemental spending bills, which take care of any additional funding needs following the start of the fiscal year. Due to decreased revenues coming into the state, the governor trimmed $180 million from the current fiscal year’s budget. I believe this is a direct result of the coronavirus’ impact on our state. While I anticipate federal relief to come in at any time, I do not have the exact figures, but I hope to very soon.

The Missouri Senate currently has the year’s supplemental spending bill. Once the Senate approves the spending bill, it will return to the Missouri House of Representatives for final passage, and then move to the governor for his consideration. After this, our remaining weeks of session are unclear, minus our constitutional obligation to pass a balanced budget for Fiscal Year 2021, which will start on July 1. During my remaining time in Jefferson City, I am committed not only to passing a balanced budget, but to deliver on those most essential services to all Missourians.

As always, please feel free to call, email or write with your ideas or concerns. My Capitol office number is (573) 751-1415, my email is and my mailing address is Room 332, State Capitol Building, Jefferson City, MO 65101.