On Friday, May 10, the Missouri General Assembly gave its final approval to the state operating budget for the 2020 fiscal year, wrapping up months of discussion by lawmakers and state officials in the annual appropriations process. The legislation, a package of 13 different bills, now heads to the governor’s desk for his consideration.
Passing the state budget is the most important responsibility of the Legislature. In fact, it is our only constitutionally-mandated duty. The budget determines how billions of dollars in taxpayer funds are allocated to various departments, offices, programs, projects, services and initiatives throughout the state. Finalizing the budget is one of the most difficult and time-consuming objectives of each legislative session.
During the budget process, the House of Representatives and Senate first approve separate budget language highlighting the respective priorities of each body. House and Senate conferees meet to negotiate any discrepancies, then a compromise budget heads back to each chamber for further discussion and final passage. This process ensures the state budget is crafted as carefully as possible, giving lawmakers ample time to analyze every line item.
As approved by the Legislature, the 2020 state budget appropriates nearly $30 billion in public funding. Notably, the budget increases funding for both K-12 and higher education. A total of $6.27 billion goes to K-12 education, fully funding the foundation formula; $1.34 billion goes to colleges and universities; $9.62 billion to social services; and $2.93 billion to transportation.
As always, please feel free to call, email or write with your ideas or concerns. My Capitol office number is (573) 751-1415, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org and my mailing address is Room 332, State Capitol Building, Jefferson City, MO 65101.