Lawmakers have finished their work for the Second Extraordinary Session of the Second Regular Session of the 100th General Assembly. Over the course of the past month, we have passed a supplemental budget that uses federal funding to help keep necessary services in place as our state continues to navigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
House Bill 14 appropriates more than $1.27 billion in resources to several state departments. It is important to point out that approximately $1.17 billion of the bill’s price tag comes from the federal government. These funds will help numerous state departments continue to provide important services, including school nutrition programs, COVID-19 mitigation efforts and unemployment compensation. The goal here is to keep these entities afloat so the most vulnerable in our state can continue to get the assistance they need.
There has been some criticism over not having already used the federal funds, which date back to this past spring; however, our state has been smartly watching this pandemic, not only in the present, but with an eye to the future. In other words, where some states have already gone through millions or billions of dollars, Missouri has taken a step back and cautiously watched how each of these dollars is used. In the same way the pandemic has continued for nearly nine months, the federal assistance offered is still in-hand, so that the state can keep helping those who are most in need.
I am proud of the work the Legislature has done in this unusual time. It has been quite a challenge to go from a rippling economy into a pandemic and time of great unknown in only a matter of days. We will keep working together, all of us, and continue to beat back this pandemic to make our state strong again. I also thank all of my constituents for their continued support throughout this turbulent time.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and my mailing address is Room 332, State Capitol Building, Jefferson City, MO 65101.