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This Week in the Missouri Senate for The Week of April 6, 2015

Sen. Onder speaks to Prairie View Elementary students at the Capitol.

Senators returned to the Capitol for a short week following the Easter holiday weekend.

Many of our discussions in the Senate focused on the fiscal year 2016 budget.  Each year the state takes in and spends approximately $25-$26 million dollars.  Roughly a third of that money comes from federal funds, a third is state revenue that is restricted for particular uses and a third is general revenue that the state has the discretion to spend. Pursuant to the Missouri Constitution, once the legislative session convenes the Governor has thirty days to submit a budget to the General Assembly that sets forth the estimated revenues of the state and an itemized plan of how to spend that money. From there, the legislature sets out to craft a budget. That budget takes the form of thirteen budget bills, each of which pertain to different state agencies and areas of interest. Once those bills pass the House they are sent to the Senate.  The Senate Budget Committee accept as is or make changes to the funding levels set in each bill.  From there, the bills are brought before the full Senate body for consideration.

Sen. Onder visits with a student from
the 2nd Senatorial District.

Tuesday night Senators spent the entire evening into the early morning hours of Wednesday debating each of those thirteen budget bills. A major difference between this version of the budget and that of previous years is that the Senate budget leaves the Governor with a surplus of $75 million dollars, so there will be no reason for him to withhold funds as he has done in previous years through the use of a line-item veto or withholds to crucial state programs.  The budget also creates a lump sum for the Departments of Mental Health, Health and Senior Services and Social Services thereby requiring each department to show the legislature exactly where and how the money allocated for their departments is spent.  

There are several points of interest in the Senate version of the budget, including an additional $10.1 million dollars to HB 2 relating to the budget for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.  That increase will bring the foundation formula up to the appropriate funding level, and $3.35 million was included for the MO Charter Public School Commission.  In HB 3, the bill pertaining to higher education, the budget includes a $2 million dollar increase for A plus school programs and a $1.5 million dollar increase for ECHO Programs, which was vetoed in the fiscal year 2015 budget.  In HB 4, which sets forth the budget for the Department of Transportation, $250,000 was included for an I-70 study along with money for airport capital improvements and maintenance expansion.  Additional items of interest can be found by reviewing each of the budget bills listed on the Senate website at

Now that the bills have passed the Senate, both chambers have selected members to serve on conference committees that will review the differences between the House and Senate versions and come up with a compromise position on each.


Sen. Onder with members of the Western St. Charles Chamber of Commerce

In addition to the long hours spent debating the budget, Senators also completed other legislation on the Senate calendar, including a list of concurrent resolutions that were voted on Thursday.  Included in those resolutions was my SCR 29, which urges the President and Congress to repeal the federal Medical Device Tax, a part of Obamacare.  The resolution passed the Senate with overwhelming support.  In conjunction with SCR 29, I also filed SCR 27 which insists that Congress fully repeal the “Affordable Care Act.”

Despite the shortened week, I also had the pleasure of meeting with many constituents from the Second Congressional District, including visitors from the Western St. Charles County Chamber of Commerce, representing the areas of Wentzville, Lake St. Louis and Dardenne Prairie, along with a group of fourth grade students from Prairie View Elementary.  The students spent the day touring the Capitol building and learning more about the legislative process.  We had a great discussion, although they were disappointed that I wouldn’t support legislation to ban homework.

The beginning of next week will be the start of our final five weeks of the 2015 legislative session.  I look forward to returning to work as there are many important things yet to accomplish.  Please be sure to reach out to my office if you have any questions or concerns.

Thank you for the great honor to serve you in the Missouri Senate.

Very Sincerely,

Sen. Bob Onder
2nd District

I appreciate your interest in our work here in Jefferson City, and am grateful for the opportunity to serve you.  Please do not hesitate to contact my office with questions about legislation, ideas for bills and any other matters we can assist you with.  

For scheduling and general questions, please contact my Scheduler and Deputy Legislative Director Sam Saffa at  

For constituent questions or concerns, please contact my Director of Constituent Services Theckla Spainhower at  

For questions pertaining to legislation, please contact my Chief of Staff and Legislative Director Jennae Neustadt at

You can reach my Capitol office at (573) 751-1282.  You can also e-mail me personally at

I would like to encourage you to sign up for my weekly capitol reports so we can inform you of our work each week.  Please email Sam Saffa at to be added to our mailing list.

Sen. Onder Serves a Portion of St. Charles County in the Missouri Senate.

Click the map above to view Missouri
Senate District 2.


Contact Information:

State Capitol Building, Rm. 226
Jefferson City, Missouri 65101
(573) 751-1282


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Sen. Onder's Legislative Report.


Elected to the Senate in 2014.