Missouri Senate Approves the State’s 2019 Operating Budget
This week, the Missouri Senate approved House Bill 1288, 1377 and 2050, a proposal that extends the availability of tax credit intended to benefit benevolent organizations. Under current law, these tax credits are issued to organizations such as child advocacy centers, food pantries, crisis care centers and homeless shelters. The legislation also allows individuals to earn tax credits for donations to nonprofit diaper banks. I believe expanding the scope of this tax credit ensures that organizations, who are providing vital services for their communities, can continue to support their mission. The proposal passed out of the Senate’s Fiscal Oversight committee and will be sent over to the Missouri House of Representatives further approval.
Missouri’s 2019 Operating Budget
Lawmakers truly agreed and finally passed the state’s 2019 operating budget, meeting the constitutional deadline for the budget to be sent to the governor’s office.
As a governing body, we approved a record amount of funding for K-12 education, and for the second year in a row we fully funded the education Foundation Formula. By funding the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education at this level, we will successfully reach the State Adequacy Target. The Legislature also approved a $10 million increase for school transportation funding. Transportation funding is especially important for our rural school districts, which is why we made an increase in funding for school transportation one of our top priorities this year.
In addition, Missouri’s colleges and universities received an increase in funding across the board. Both chambers agreed to restore the $68 million proposed cut recommended by the governor. I am proud that we were able to reach a reasonable compromise in order to ensure Missouri has an educated, well-trained workforce.
We also approved an increase in funding for provider rates for in-home health care as well increased the daily reimbursement rate for nursing homes. Other provider rate increases will be dispersed to mental health, dental care and primary care providers. These budget increases show our commitment to our seniors and vulnerable populations in Missouri.
While we tried to meet the needs of all of the departments, ultimately we had to make some tough decisions. Committee members worked long hours to find savings where they could and give recommendations to promote responsible spending and government efficiency.
As always, I appreciate hearing your comments, opinions and concerns. Please feel free to contact me in Jefferson City at (573) 751-4302. You may also email me at email@example.com.