Each year, the Missouri General Assembly has one constitutionally mandated task, which is to pass a balanced budget. On the surface, this may sound like a simple task. In reality, it is anything but easy. Fortunately, this year, Missouri’s conservative values have proven to be a blessing for everyone in our state.
A lot has been made of the $46 billion operating budget for Fiscal Year 2023. Missouri’s fiscal year starts on July 1. The budget for our current fiscal year totaled approximately $35 billion. The reason for the increase from FY ’22 to ’23 is we are receiving a larger than normal amount of money from the federal government, in part because of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. Also, the federal government is helping states with one-time infusions of funds designed to assist with infrastructure concerns, which means not only roads and bridges, but expanding broadband internet coverage as well.
I am also happy to say the Legislature was able to boost education spending for the next year. Not only will Missouri fully fund the education foundation funding formula again, but school transportation will see its healthiest increase since 1991. Unfortunately, over the past several years, line-item vetoes or cuts in our budget have had to be made in transportation expenditures for Missouri’s school districts. This hurts rural schools the most, in my opinion. This increase should help offset the growing amount districts are having to pay for both gas and maintenance on buses.
Since this is my last year as a state senator, and my final year as chair of the Missouri Senate Appropriations Committee, I would like to thank everybody in the State Capitol who has put in thousands of hours to help ensure the budget process goes smoothly. Not only my colleagues in the Missouri Senate and House of Representatives, but the tremendous staff who put in countless hours and pour over thousands of individual line items each year. They make the work we do in the Legislature that much more satisfying.
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.