COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson is cutting hundreds of millions of dollars from the state budget. Parson on Tuesday signed the upcoming fiscal year’s budget while cutting close to $450 million in planned spending. Parson says the cuts are necessary to keep the budget balanced after revenues tanked because of the coronavirus pandemic. Revenues are down 7.4% this fiscal year compared to last year. Parson could undo the $450 million in cuts if revenues increase unexpectedly in the coming months.
Governor Parson Signs FY 2021 Budget Bills
(JEFFERSON CITY, MO) – Today, Governor Mike Parson signed the FY21 budget bills passed by the General Assembly.
The total state budget is approximately $35.3 billion, including $10 billion in general revenue.
“Every year, the General Assembly is committed to protecting Missouri taxpayers’ hard earned money with a fiscally responsible budget,” Governor Parson said. “Although this legislative session looked very different due to COVID-19, we appreciate the General Assembly for pushing through these difficult circumstances and creating the Fiscal Year 2021 budget.”
Since taking office, Missouri’s economy and financial health have been of utmost importance to Governor Parson. Last year, the state budget left $100 million on the bottom line in order to respond to any unexpected revenue declines. Governor Parson also proposed to do the same for next year, ensuring another year of responsible state budgeting and savings.
However, COVID-19 has severely impacted Missouri’s anticipated economic growth, and the state is now experiencing significant revenue declines.
To ensure Missouri is prepared to deal with the economic impacts of COVID-19 going forward, Governor Parson issued vetoes for 17 items totaling nearly $11 million. Governor Parson also announced over $448 million in budget withholds. These restrictions include nearly 150 items across state government.
“COVID-19 is unlike anything we have ever experienced before,” Governor Parson said. “As difficult as these decisions are, we are experiencing an unprecedented economic downturn, which means we are having to make unprecedented adjustments in our budget.”
Despite these challenges, Governor Parson’s administration is hopeful that the economy will recover quickly, which may allow for the release of some withholds later in the year. The state also anticipates opportunities in the coming weeks to help offset shortfalls.