The Missouri Budget Legislative Committee serves as the basic policy document for the state. It’s what drives all expenditures, and its decisions affect every Missourian. Roads, bridges, Medicaid expansion, WIC, P-12 schools, higher education, public libraries, law enforcement, unemployment benefits, state parks–you name it.
Major Missouri Budget Actions Already in the Pipeline
Twenty-two Republicans and 9 Democrats make up this 31-member Committee. The body has already moved quickly on a couple of bills. HB16 earmarks nearly $325 million that affects the Departments of Economic Development and Public Safety. Governor Parson has already approved HB16 and has sent it to the Secretary of State’s office.
Another bill that is being pushed through quickly is HB137. Charter schools will be funded differently if the bill is passed. It would go into effect in June 2022. HB137 relates to several other proposals promoting statewide school choice, school vouchers, and charter school expansion. The Budget Committee already passed the bill and it’s now headed to the Rules and Legislative Oversight Committee.
The third major bill that’s currently under consideration is HB728. If passed, it would extend the sunset for reimbursement allowance taxes imposed on ground ambulances, nursing facilities, Medicaid managed care organizations, hospitals, pharmacies, and intermediate care facilities for the intellectually disabled. The current law on the books will sunset on September 30 of this year. HB728 would extend it to 2023.
Committee Member to Missourians: Get Involved.
We send legislators to Jefferson City to represent us. However, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t stay informed and remain actively involved in the legislative process.
In a recent tweet from Democratic Rep. Betsy Fogle (HD135): “Today in budget, we learned that 162 of the 715 veterans housed in Veterans homes in MO have died from COVID-19. We also learned that hundreds of rape kits are sitting untested, while survivors wait 600 days for results. Where we put our dollars matter. Get involved.”
This is just one example of the kind of issues the Missouri Budget Legislative Committee deals with. As Missourians, we have a responsibility to play an active role in the process. We all need to do our part, by making calls, sending emails, submitting written testimony for hearings, and writing letters to the editor in local newspapers.
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