Legislative Column for the Week of April 20, 2015
Missouri Budget Sent to Governor

The main job that we, as legislators, must do every year is pass a balanced budget. We must make difficult decisions about how your hard-earned money is spent to provide programs and services to make Missouri a better place to live, work and raise a family.

The budget bills were finally passed and sent to the governor on Thursday, far ahead of the May 8 constitutional deadline.

We have increased funding for both K-12 and higher education, increased healthcare provider rates and added funding for Medicaid adult dental care.

The Missouri Departments of Transportation, Public Safety and Office of Administration also received increased funding for their departments.

The Departments of Social Services, Mental Health, and Health and Senior Services also received increases in their funding. However, these departments have requested record increases in past years, and the legislature this year has stepped in to rein in some of their out-of-control spending. As a result, their increases were still substantial, but the numbers were more fiscally conservative this year.

This year’s $26.1 billion budget is the most conservative ever passed. We are left with a budget surplus of around $90 million, which I feel makes for responsible use of our citizens’ money.

For a complete list of FY 2016 budget legislation, click here and follow HB 1 through HB 16.

I always encourage my constituents to feel free to contact me throughout the year with comments, questions or suggestions by calling my office at (573) 751-5713. To find more information about the bills I sponsor, or visit www.senate.mo.gov/brown.

Thank you for reading this and for your participation in state government.