A new report shows Missouri revenues were up slightly as the state heads toward the last few months of its fiscal year.
State figures released Wednesday show the state's net general revenue increased 1.7 percent through March compared with the same point last year.
State Budget Director Linda Luebbering says the revenue numbers show Missouri is on pace to meet this year's budget projections set by Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon's administration. But she added that sales tax receipts are currently coming in below projections.
Revenue collections in Missouri slowed a bit last month, but continued their overall upward trend.
From July of 2012 through the end of May, the state took in $7.3 billion in revenues, an increase of 10.4 percent from May of 2012. The year-to-date increase from April of this year, though, was 11.2 percent. Missouri Budget Director Linda Luebbering blames it on a drop in sales tax collections.
"People are still a little bit concerned about spending a lot of money, given the economy and the uncertainty at the national level," Luebbering said.
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.
Governor Jay Nixon today signed an executive order to close state offices on Black Friday, Nov. 23, in part because state revenues have increased. State Budget Director Linda Luebbering said the state’s revenue collections are up by 7.5 percent compared with last year.
“We’re beginning to see the improving economy’s impact on our revenue collections," Luebbering said. "It’s always a lag as the economy improves – takes a little while for that to start showing up in our revenue collections."
Missouri will chip in nearly $330 million next year to pay for state worker pensions.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports state government will pay about 20 percent more than in the current year largely because of lower investment returns and longer life expectancies. The board for the Missouri State Employees Retirement System approved the increase by a 10-1 vote.
State Budget Director Linda Luebbering says the increased payment is not a surprise.
Missouri’s revenues rose more than expected during the month of May.
The state collected about $6.6 billion in revenue last month, compared to just under $6.4 billion in May of 2011. Governor Jay Nixon’s Budget Director, Linda Luebbering, credits most of the improvement to higher collections of state income and sales taxes.
“That's the good news, things are picking up," Luebbering said. "I think we do have to be cautious, still, because of what’s going on at the national and particularly the international picture, with European Union issues and everything that's going on globally that could have some bearing on the overall economy.”
The Missouri Office of Administration released today the General Revenue report for February.
According to the report, general revenue collections have increased 2.4 percent in the 2012 fiscal year. But so far, that’s below the projected 2.7 percent increase. State Budget Director Linda Luebbering says the state is confident it will meet projections, due to pay raises and an increase in jobs.