As is customary for a new General Assembly, lawmakers have been given their committee assignments for 2021 and ’22. The 101st General Assembly started work on Jan. 6. Now that the committees have been filled, we can begin the real work for this session.
I am fortunate to chair the Missouri Senate Appropriations Committee once again. The only constitutionally mandated exercise for the Legislature is to produce a budget each year. This is a monumental task, with a lot of people involved in the careful spending of Missouri taxpayer dollars, and a job I take very seriously. This is the peoples’ money. It is your money, and I never forget this.
The real budget work starts in December, when the Missouri Senate, House of Representatives and governor’s office formulate a Consensus Revenue Estimate, or the amount by which we believe money will come into the state during the next fiscal year. By law, the budget starts in the House. As the House begins crafting their budget, my colleagues and I in the Missouri Senate hear from citizens and state department heads, as we begin working on our own version of the state’s 2022 spending plan.
Our hearings will start soon. From there, legislation will make its way from the House to the Senate. Any differences will ultimately be ironed out in a conference committee, and then a final product will be sent to the governor for his consideration in early May. Our state’s fiscal year runs from July 1 through the following June 30.
In the meantime, our committees will also begin hearings, which means we will soon be discussing these pieces of legislation on the floor of the Missouri Senate. I thank the citizens of the great northwest part of our state for having the faith in me to represent them in Jefferson City, and look forward to another year in the Capitol.
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.