Missouri state lawmakers launched an interim committee Thursday to examine the issue of Medicaid reform. Governor Jay Nixon pushed heavily for the legislature to expand Medicaid this session, and accept hundreds of millions of federal dollars to do so. But Republican legislators were worried about the long-term costs of the move, and no measure was passed. Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones, a Republican member who started the committee, says accepting the federal money wouldn’t fix the problems that are inherent to the Medicaid system.
The Missouri House has sent back to a committee a proposal to issue $1.2 billion in bonds to fund construction projects at college campuses, parks and other state facilities.
House member Chris Kelly, a Democrat from Columbia, says the proposal needs adjustment and that working it out at the committee level would save time.
The bonding package would need voter approval if it clears the Legislature, which adjourns May 17. The House Budget Committee will re-examine the bonding measure, and Kelly says the full chamber could vote on it next week.
The Republican supermajority in the Missouri House inched up this week with the election of Republican Mike Moon of Lawrence County to the vacant House District 157 seat from southwestern Missouri. Moon defeated Democrat and former House Member Charlie "Doc" Dake in what Republican Speaker Tim Jones described as a hotly-contested race.