Missouri lawmakers to begin vetting Parson’s $34.1B budget request


After delivering his State of the State address, Gov. Mike Parson Wednesday released his $34.1 billion Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) budget request that calls upon state lawmakers to fully fund Medicaid expansion.

Parson’s FY22 budget request trims $1.1 billion in overall spending from the current year’s spending plan but includes a $583 million increase in funding from Missouri’s general revenue fund, which will begin FY22 on July 1 with a $1.1 billion surplus.

Among other highlights, the governor’s proposed plan allocates $14.1 billion for Medicaid and $3.56 billion for K-12 public schools while outlining a 2-percent pay increase for state workers and calling for no tax increases.

The budget request now sets the stage for state lawmakers, who convened their 2021 legislative session on Jan. 6, to formerly begin budget deliberations. The House Budget Committee will begin sifting through Parson’s requests Friday.

State voters in August approved Amendment 2, expanding Medicaid to low-income adults. According to Parson’s budget request, 275,000 low-income Missourians are expected to enroll, adding $1.9 billion in costs to the state’s FY22 budget.

Of that $1.9 billion in additional Medicaid costs, about $1.65 billion will be paid for with federal funds and about $130 million will come from state general revenues and other sources, including taxes on medical providers.

Overall, according to the budget request, the state’s $14 billion Medicaid program, will be subsidized by about $11.5 billion in federal money.

Parson’s healthcare budget includes $4 million to support tele-health and telemedicine for individuals with developmental disabilities and $20 million for 50 new community mental health and substance use disorder advocates and six new crisis stabilizations centers across the state.

Other highlights of Parson’s budget request include:

EDUCATION: Parson’s $3.56 billion budget request for K-12 schools is the same amount approved for this budget year.

Included is $93 million for school bus transportation costs, the same as this year, and $5 million to expand broadband internet access across the state.

Parson’s budget request seeks “the restoration of funding for public colleges and universities to pre-pandemic levels.”

Included is $66.4 million for the Access Missouri financial aid program, a $2.5 million increase; $54.3 million for the A+ Schools Scholarship Program, a $13.2 million boost; and $24 million for the Academic Scholarship (Bright Flight) Program, a $3.9 million increase.

PAY HIKES: Missouri has the lowest paid state workforce in the nation. Last year, Parson submitted a $26 million request to give Missouri’s 53,000 state workers a 2-percent pay raise starting Jan. 1.

Lawmakers approved the raise, but in fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, Parson and Missouri Budget Director Dan Haug agreed in July to slash $448 million from the budget, including the money for pay increases.

The governor’s budget request includes another $2.9 million to boost pay for Missouri corrections officers and assist the state’s Department of Corrections in recruitment and retention.

INFRASTRUCTURE: Parson seeks $25 million for the Missouri Department of Transportation’s (MoDOT) Cost Share Program, which provides 50 percent matches in construction contract costs for public projects, down from $50 million last year/. Other components include:

  • $9.86 million for passenger rail service between Kansas City and St. Louis, a $1.85 million increase.
  • $12.2 million for Missouri’s port authorities, a $6.3 million increase for “shovel-ready projects.”

Other proposed allocations in Parson’s spending plan include:

  • $100 million for maintenance of state buildings
  • $88.8 million for the state’s seven veterans’ homes and $85 million for the Missouri Veterans’ Homes Fund. Both requests reflect current funding levels.
  • $68 million for state park upgrades.
  • $18.6 million for the state’s Tourism Office.
  • $5.7 million for the Fast Track Workforce Incentive Grant Program, a $2.7 million increase.
  • $4.45 million to the Missouri Housing Trust Fund, which provides grants to housing service providers to help low-income families and individuals. Lawmakers approved the same amount in this year’s budget.
  • $1.7 million for the Missouri Department of Conservation’s efforts to combat feral hogs
  • $1.5 million for a program to protect witnesses before a criminal court trial or during investigations.

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