Do you remember a few years ago when members of the Democratic Party said that $5 billion was way too much for a wall to protect our southern border? We worked on the budget this week and it was literally over $40 billion for the state of Missouri alone and the Democrats said it still wasn’t enough. Luckily, we have handed over nearly $2 billion for future budgets, as inflation will continue to rise and we will most likely be in a recession for the next two years. Here are some of the measures that will be financed with these funds. I am happy to say that broadband in rural areas will greatly benefit from these funds and will hopefully be implemented soon.
House approves fiscally responsible state operating budget (HBs 3001-3013, 3015, 3020)
Members of the Missouri House of Representatives approved an operating budget of $46.5 billion. The state spending plan, which has received support from both sides of the aisle, makes a record investment in the state’s education system while allocating funds to help the most vulnerable citizens of the state, pay for road improvements and repairs, invest in water and broadband infrastructure. , and strengthen the state reserve fund.
By approving the spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year, lawmakers have fully funded the state’s K-12 foundation formula. In total, House members approved nearly $10.1 billion in funding for K-12 education, representing an increase of more than $2.6 billion in funding from to the previous budget. This increase is primarily fueled by additional federal funding of $2.4 billion. The plan also aims to improve teacher compensation by allocating about $37.4 million to revive the Career Ladder program. Additionally, the home plan is investing $75 million in Close the Gap grants that will help Missouri families deal with the learning loss that has occurred as a result of the pandemic.
Members of the Chamber have also increased funding for higher education institutions in the state. The funding plan for higher education is increased by almost $55 million compared to the previous budget. This increase includes nearly $43 million in new funding for the state’s four-year institutions and more than $8 million in new spending for the state’s community colleges. The House budget also aims to make college more affordable for Missouri students by increasing funding for the A+ scholarship program by $6 million and the Access Missouri scholarship program by $9 million, which fully funds the program for the first time. The budget plan also includes an additional $3.5 million for the Bright Flight Scholarship Program, which fully funds the program to provide full scholarships to the top 5% of applicants.
The budget approved by the House also includes a significant investment in the state’s transportation infrastructure. The spending plan allocates nearly $248 million in new funds from the State Road Fund, which is used for the maintenance and construction of roads and bridges. This plan includes $100 million for rural roads around the state that have fallen into disrepair. In addition, the plan allocates $75 million in federal funds to the Transportation Cost-Sharing Program which partners with local municipalities to fund road repairs. The state’s Amtrak service is also receiving funding that will allow it to resume twice-daily train service statewide.
The spending plan approved by the House also includes substantial increases for many programs that serve the state’s most vulnerable citizens. The budget provides nearly $300 million for rate increases for home and community service providers. It is also providing more than $26 million in new funding to regional agencies on aging (AAAs) across the state and an additional $15.1 million to AAAs to expand meal production capacity. The House budget also increases funding for the Veterans Health and Care Fund by more than $6 million to help further support veterans homes across the state. Other funding increases include $20 million for the Children’s Trust Fund for grant programs that will help child victims of sexual abuse and neglect, $2.2 million for alternatives to abortion and 5.8 million dollars for autism diagnostic centers.
While the House-approved budget provides record funding in a number of areas, the plan also represents an estimated $1.1 billion in spending cuts from the governor’s recommended plan. The House Budget Chairman chose to cut some of the Governor’s proposed spending increases to ensure a healthy bottom line for the state. The House budget plan leaves more than $1.8 billion in general revenue unspent.
The deputy chairman of the House Budget Committee said the budget approved by the House “will be billions more than the previous budget, and there’s only so much money you can spend so accountable in any given fiscal year, and I think we understood that balance.”
A House member who backed the plan said the state legislature shouldn’t be like Washington, D.C., throwing money at every program. He said: “The same people who are on the floor right now telling us that we have to spend every penny we have access to right now will be the same people who, when we hit a downturn, will tell us that we are in pain. managed those dollars. Adopting a conservative budget at this time is extremely important. He added, “We have to make sure we are accountable with the dollars we have access to, the billions we have access to today.”
The chairman of the House budget committee told his colleagues: “This budget, despite being the largest in the history of the state, uses a large part of the federal money that was sent to us to prioritize things like education and various infrastructure like water infrastructure and broadband infrastructure.. We spent a lot of time trying to plan and make sure the money is invest as wisely as possible.
Budget bills approved by the House are now sent to the Senate for consideration. The two chambers have until Friday, May 6 to reach a final agreement on the state’s operating budget.
Some of the items to note in the budget include:
- Full K-12 School Foundation Funding
- $1.96 billion in Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) III funds, plus $443 million in ESSER II funds, for K-12 education
- $37.4 million to restore the Teacher Career Ladder program
- $75 million for Close the Gap Grants, which would provide funds for Missouri families to address learning loss
- 5.4% Base Increases for Missouri Higher Education Funding
- $6 million increase for the A+ scholarship program
- $9 Million Increase to Fully Fund the Access Missouri Scholarship Program
- $3.5 million increase to fully fund the Bright Flight scholarship program
- $31.5 million in new funding for the MO Excels Workforce initiative, which facilitates the development and expansion of employer-focused education and training programs
- $4 million for a statewide math supplement
- $248 million allocated by the State Road Fund for construction and maintenance
- $100 million for low-volume rural road repairs
- $75 million in federal funding for the Transportation Cost-Sharing Program
- $10.3 million in new federal funding for the Low-Income Weatherization Assistance Program
- $1 Million for Energize Missouri Small Farm Grant
- $42.2 million in federal funding for the Rural Broadband Grant Program
- $15.9 million for Missouri One Start, which helps companies recruit, onboard and train job candidates during expansions
- $9.9 million in federal funds to the Employment Security Division for fraud detection and prevention
- $7 million for drug task force grants
- Over $42 million for next-gen 911 functionality
- $24.4 million to the Department of Corrections for health and mental health care
- $299 million for rate increases for home and community service providers
- $26.2 million in new federal funding for regional agencies on aging across the state
- $15.1 million in funding for regional agencies on aging to increase meal production capacity
- $6.2 million for the Missouri Veterans Health and Care Fund to increase funding for veterans homes across the state
- $12 million for the Opioid Addiction Treatment and Recovery Fund
- $5.8 million for autism diagnostic centers
- Nearly $3 billion in new funding for the state’s Medicaid program, which helps cover the cost of Medicaid expansion
- $215.6 million in funding for new nursing home provider tariffs, which include value-based payments to ensure the state gets good results for the dollars invested
- $93.5 million in federal stimulus funds for home energy assistance program for low-income households
- $46 million for the Family First Prevention Services Act, which helps families keep their children safe at home
- $2.2 million increase in funding for the Abortion Alternatives program
- $20 million for the Children’s Trust Fund for new programs that will help child victims of sexual abuse and neglect
- $410.7 million for water infrastructure subsidies
- $104.7 million for a new Missouri State Highway Patrol crime lab
- $88 million for a new training academy for the Missouri State Highway Patrol
- $104.5 million for the University of Missouri’s NextGen Precision Health Building
- $100 million for the National Emergency Management Agency for a statewide response to COVID-19
- $250 million for the broadband infrastructure program
As always, please do not hesitate to contact our office with any questions, comments or concerns. God bless you.
State Representative, District 155
201 W. Capitol Avenue, Room 110A
Jefferson City, Missouri 65101