Finance

Deadline looms for Missouri lawmakers to agree to $34B state budget

deadline-looms-for-missouri-lawmakers-to-agree-to-34b-state-budget

Missouri Senate Chamber / Photo courtesy of the Missouri Senate

BY BRENT MARTIN

St. Joseph Post

It’s crunch time for state budget negotiators with that
Constitutional deadline for a state budget approaching rapidly in Jefferson
City.

State Senator Dan Hegeman von Cosby serves again as Senate funding
Committee chairman and says the budget looks a lot at the end of this meeting
better than many thought at the beginning of this session.

“Last year at that time, we were concerned about the adverse effects
of COVID-19 and how it would affect our economy. So we have one very prepared
conservative budget last year, ”Hegeman told the St. Joseph Post.

Hegeman pays tribute to fellow Republican Governor Mike
Parson, for negotiating all unknowns with whom the state during the
Coronavirus pandemic level.

“You can attribute the fact that we saw positive growth
in our economy to Missouri Governor Mike Parson, “
according to Hegeman. “I think he coped well with the situation and we are carrying
the fruits of it now. “

According to Hegeman, government revenues rose by 3½% to 4% in the past year.

“As a hole, I think the state of Missouri is tough and resilient.
and survived this situation well, ”says Hegeman.

Hegeman admits that some sectors of the Missouri economy didn’t
done like others. He says the legislature used funds from the CARES Act to do this
Help and await news from Washington on how lawmakers can assign that
latest coronavirus aid passed by Congress.

“We’re not adjusting much of these funds this year
Household budget, ”says Hegeman. “Well
either address those in a special session or an extraordinary session, or in
the regular meeting next year in January. “

Currently, the legislature has to work on the state budget for the
next fiscal year. Both the Senate and the House of Representatives have approved a budget of $ 34 billion.
However, the composition of the budgets is different and these differences need to be addressed
and a final spending plan for the next fiscal year that will be completed by the end of the year
the legislative day Friday.

Both chambers agree on one thing: Medicaid should not be expanded. Legislators took one
controversial move when they refused to fund Medicaid’s expansion, though
The voters approved the enlargement. Governor Parson had included the Medicaid extension in his
Budget proposal.

Hegeman insists despite voters approving Medicaid’s expansion
does not require the legislature to fund it.

“The court has made it very clear that the legislature has still done this
the appropriation authority on whether or not this expansion of Medicaid is taking place
not, ”says Hegeman. “So there is some discussion about it.”

It seems certain that the decision will trigger a lawsuit.

Hegeman says the budget was approved by the Senate last week
addresses the greatest needs of the state.

“It’s a budget that I think meets a lot of the needs in
the state of Missouri and some of them that we care about
some time, ”says Hegeman.

The Senate budget includes $ 3.56 billion in state aid
Schools and $ 113 million for school bus transportation.

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Robert Dunfee