The Missouri Senate passed the rest of the state budget Tuesday April 29, after taking care of the first 5 bills on Monday. Democrat Paul LeVota of Independence made an indirect attempt to expand Medicaid. He offered an amendment to create a line item in the Department of Social Services’ budget for extra Medicaid dollars to be drawn down if lawmakers ever decide to expand Medicaid. Republican Kurt Schaefer of Columbia opposed the amendment.
Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 5:00 pm
House budget writers have passed Missouri's state budget for Fiscal Year 2015, which begins July 1.
The roughly $28 billion spending plan still includes a funding increase for the state's K-12 schools, which would be around $122 million if projections by House and Senate Republican leaders turn out to be correct. If Gov. Jay Nixon's rosier revenue picture turns out to be correct, then K-12 spending would increase by $278 million.
Missouri lawmakers are considering changes to the governor's authority over the state budget.
The discussion comes after budget disputes in recent years. Most recently, Gov. Jay Nixon froze $400 million in the current year's spending plan, while citing concerns lawmakers would override his veto of a tax cut.
Democratic Governor Jay Nixon has released just over half of the 400 million dollars he withheld earlier this year from Missouri’s current state budget. 215-million dollars will be divvied up among K-through-12 schools, higher education, mental health programs and specific programs for training health care professional in southwest Missouri. Nixon released the money Thursday after Republican lawmakers on Wednesday failed to override his veto of a controversial tax cut bill.
The University of Missouri System Board of Curators approved its 2014 budget Friday. UM System President Tim Wolfe says the budget identifies strategic areas for funding to help strengthen the university brand.
Democratic Governor Jay Nixon on Wednesday warned Republican lawmakers that he’ll lay off state workers if full funding isn’t restored to the budget for the Missouri Department of Revenue’s Motor Vehicles division.
Missouri's finances could take a $60 million annual hit because of a recent 2 percentage point increase in federal Social Security payroll taxes.
State budget director Linda Luebbering says the lost revenues resulting from the federal Social Security tax already had been taken into consideration for budget projections. She says the reduced revenue should not come as a surprise to state officials.
The Social Security tax reverted to 6.2 percent this month after the expiration of a 2 percentage point cut that had been in place for a couple of years.
Missouri expects to save about $44 million this year by refinancing some of its debt at lower interest rates.
Two separate boards of state officials gave preliminary authorization this week to the bond refinancing.
That action had been anticipated for some time. Gov. Jay Nixon had proposed to refinance more than $500 million of bonds as part of the budget plan he outlined in January. Lawmakers also had calculated the savings into the budget for the 2013 fiscal year that began this past Sunday.
The Kirksville R-3 School board has approved its budget for the next school year. The district expects to see a reduction in state and federal funding by almost $800,000.
Despite the cut in federal funding, the district doesn’t expected to make any drastic cuts. Superintendent Pat Williams says the district had actually expected the subsidy reduction and had already started taking steps to provide cushion for the next school year.
The Missouri Senate took the next step Tuesday toward beginning final negotiations with the House on next year’s state budget. Senate members struggled with whether to bind themselves to various positions they support.