The Missouri House will begin debate Tuesday on the 13 bills that make up next year’s state budget.
The three bills that encompass the state’s Medicaid program don’t include Governor Jay Nixon’s (D) proposed expansion, although House Democrats may try to offer amendments to change that. Budget chairman Rick Stream (R, Kirkwood) says the state should have more of a say in how Medicaid dollars are handled.
Healthcare reform was on the agenda in Gov. Jay Nixon’s 2013 state of the state address as he called upon lawmakers to broaden Medicaid so more Missourians would have access to healthcare. Nixon’s proposed budget includes an expansion of Missouri’s Medicaid program. Estimates are the plan would add nearly 260,000 lower-income adults to the healthcare program through the use of $908 million in federal funds, money that would be received by opting in to the federal Medicaid expansion. In his recent state of the state address, Nixon argued the expansion would create jobs for many Missourians and would bring increased revenue to the state.
Democratic Missouri Governor Jay Nixon delivered his state of the state speech Monday night; to a legislature that this year again has enough Republican members that if they all vote together, they won’t even need his signature to alter the state’s laws.
Some Republicans in the State Senate are expressing outrage that the Missouri Highway Patrol spent more than $5.5 million on a new airplane that could be used by Democratic Governor Jay Nixon and other elected state officials.
Missouri lawmakers are kicking off the state's annual budgeting process this week. The Senate Appropriations Committee will take public testimony on education and health care issues at a hearing Tuesday.