“Highlights with Hegeman” for the Week of July 12: Living within Our Means

Missouri’s new fiscal year started on July 1. After a year of uncertainty, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, our state was able to bounce back better than most. This can be credited to maintaining a balanced budget, and to a lot of hard work in keeping close tabs on our spending during the past year.

Missouri’s fiscal year runs July 1 through June 30. Crafting the state’s spending plan is practically a year-round job. It starts in December, when Missouri Senate, House of Representative and the governor’s budget experts create what is called the Consensus Revenue Estimate, or CRE. This is the predicted level of economic growth for the upcoming fiscal year, and how we try and determine how much money could be needed for essential services. From there, both the Missouri House Budget and the Missouri Senate Appropriations committees take hours of testimony and pour over thousands of requests to create a spending plan for the state. The budget is approved in May and signed into law before July 1, typically in June.

There are a couple of highlights for northwest Missouri in this year’s budget. Within this year’s budget, Northwest Missouri State University is set to receive $5 million to improve the school’s Central Plant. Charged with heating and cooling the entire campus, this facility has needed an upgrade for some time, and I am thankful we were able to address this need in the budget. In addition, North Central Missouri College plans to use $4 million to build a new satellite location in the 12th Senatorial District. Our smaller colleges have shown the importance of higher education, especially in rural Missouri. It is a pleasure to be a part of helping with this growth.

I take my role as chairman of the Missouri Senate Appropriations Committee seriously. Utilizing tax dollars in the best way possible is the only way to continue to provide vital services to the most vulnerable in our state. We have a lot of great people involved in this responsibility, who work every day to ensure your tax dollars are used in the most efficient way possible.

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 dan.hegeman@senate.mo.gov and my mailing address is Room 332, State Capitol Building, Jefferson City, MO 65101.