As is said so often, the Missouri General Assembly has one constitutionally mandated job: create a balanced budget each year. This year, like most, presented a unique challenge. Fortunately, it was not the same type of challenge as last year.
The Fiscal Year 2022 state operating budget totals approximately $35 billion, including $14 billion in federal funding. The federal portion includes funds designed to help our state continue to navigate the effects of the pandemic. In addition, there is nearly $600 million in capital improvement funding for our state.
Once again, the state will fully fund the elementary and secondary foundation formula, as well as add money to the school transportation fund, which means districts should have the ability to keep buses on the roads and running full routes next school year. In my opinion, this is highly critical, especially for the rural school districts we have in northwest Missouri.
In addition, higher education will see an approximately 3.7 percent boost in funding. There will be added funding for Missouri Western University’s Scanlon Hall. Northwest Missouri State University will see approximately $5 million to renovate the infrastructure that heats and cools the buildings throughout campus, after having made repairs to some of this pipework in previous years. North Central Missouri Community College will also get additional funding to build satellite campuses.
From here, the governor will review each line item of the budget bills and determine if there is need to withhold any spending, which means the funding could be released at a later time than originally requested. He also has the option to veto any specific line items in the budget. The Legislature also has the option to override any veto, if we see fit. Fiscal Year 2022 will start on July 1, 2021.
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 email@example.com and my mailing address is Room 332, State Capitol Building, Jefferson City, MO 65101.