Archive for the ‘Missouri Politics’ Category

Legislature Send Budget to Nixon
April 23, 2015

(AP) – The Missouri Legislature has passed a $26 billion spending plan for next fiscal year.
The budget approved Thursday will cut spending for social services by about $46 million while increasing basic aid for K-12 schools by about $84 million compared to this year.
That increase still falls about $400 million short of what’s need to provide public schools with full funding.
More money will go to public colleges and universities. Lawmakers have proposed a 1.3 percent increase of $12 million in performance-based spending for those institutions.
State employees will not receive a pay raise. Efforts to block the governor from extending bond payments to pay for a new St. Louis football stadium also failed to make it into the budget.
The bill now needs approval from Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon.

A look at the department spending totals authorized in the 2016 fiscal year budget passed Thursday by the Missouri Legislature, compared with the amounts included in the 2015 budget.
FY 2015 FY 2016
HB 1 – Public Debt
General Revenue $64,790,980 $59,199,900
Total $67,831,978 $61,948,734
HB 2 – DESE
General Revenue $3,146,905,980 $3,220,532,590
Total $5,863,862,371 $5,789,415,427
HB 3 – Higher Ed
General Revenue $928,930,254 $933,638,908
Total $1,272,140,013 $1,266,819,566
HB 4 – Revenue
General Revenue $84,817,692 $88,434,330
Total $506,493,497 $510,131,760
HB 4 – Transportation
General Revenue $16,094,129 $19,544,129
Total $2,172,720,379 $2,162,212,814
HB 5 – Office of Administration
General Revenue $175,979,939 $174,641,743
Total $502,233,461 $303,318,854
HB 5 – Employee Benefits
General Revenue $553,273,629 $552,246,544
Total $930,454,702 $933,738,426
HB 6 – Agriculture
General Revenue $10,449,767 $11,429,947
Total $37,377,686 $42,331,831
HB 6 – Natural Resources
General Revenue $9,858,085 $10,829,503
Total $558,319,893 $560,481,082
HB 6 – Conservation
General Revenue $0 $0
Total $148,119,522 $149,505,752
HB 7 – Economic Development
General Revenue $88,324,611 $80,948,436
Total $370,604,690 $362,460,962
HB 7 – Insurance
General Revenue $0 $0
Total $40,806,316 $40,668,920
HB 7 – Labor
General Revenue $2,363,480 $2,248,549
Total $185,640,013 $190,989,359
HB 8 – Public Safety
General Revenue $82,676,629 $69,471,854
Total $699,526,424 $734,682,088
HB 9 – Corrections
General Revenue $670,432,531 $661,290,269
Total $725,156,473 $710,168,328
HB 10 – Mental Health
General Revenue $705,514,408 $661,290,269
Total $1,753,047,699 $1,836,521,148
HB 10 – Health
General Revenue $286,713,941 $330,849,608
Total $1,181,112,711 $1,253,241,755
HB 11 – Social Services
General Revenue $1,532,947,954 $1,532,392,881
Total $8,655,534,883 $8,609,187,275
HB 12 – Elected Officials
General Revenue $50,632,537 $51,071,181
Total $123,769,927 $123,556,150
HB 12 – Judiciary
General Revenue $183,428,670 $183,058,930
Total $206,422,446 $208,131,056
HB 12 – Public Defender
General Revenue $39,739,909 $36,422,010
Total $42,847,492 $39,530,303
HB 12 – General Assembly
General Revenue $33,475,985 $34,438,373
Total $33,769,525 $35,732,378
HB 13 – Statewide Leasing
General Revenue $70,562,638 $71,014,354
Total $102,671,259 $102,991,759
Overall Budget
General Revenue $8,734,913,177 $8,854,825,360
Total $26,180,463,360 $26,027,765,727

Missouri Lawmakers Sends Budget to Nixon
April 23, 2015

(AP) – The Missouri Legislature has passed a $26 billion spending plan for next fiscal year.
The budget approved Thursday will cut spending for social services by about $46 million while increasing basic aid for K-12 schools by about $84 million compared to this year.
That increase still falls about $400 million short of what’s need to provide public schools with full funding.
More money will go to public colleges and universities. Lawmakers have proposed a 1.3 percent increase of $12 million in performance-based spending for those institutions.
State employees will not receive a pay raise. Efforts to block the governor from extending bond payments to pay for a new St. Louis football stadium also failed to make it into the budget.
The bill now needs approval from Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon.

A look at the department spending totals authorized in the 2016 fiscal year budget passed Thursday by the Missouri Legislature, compared with the amounts included in the 2015 budget.
FY 2015 FY 2016
HB 1 – Public Debt
General Revenue $64,790,980 $59,199,900
Total $67,831,978 $61,948,734
HB 2 – DESE
General Revenue $3,146,905,980 $3,220,532,590
Total $5,863,862,371 $5,789,415,427
HB 3 – Higher Ed
General Revenue $928,930,254 $933,638,908
Total $1,272,140,013 $1,266,819,566
HB 4 – Revenue
General Revenue $84,817,692 $88,434,330
Total $506,493,497 $510,131,760
HB 4 – Transportation
General Revenue $16,094,129 $19,544,129
Total $2,172,720,379 $2,162,212,814
HB 5 – Office of Administration
General Revenue $175,979,939 $174,641,743
Total $502,233,461 $303,318,854
HB 5 – Employee Benefits
General Revenue $553,273,629 $552,246,544
Total $930,454,702 $933,738,426
HB 6 – Agriculture
General Revenue $10,449,767 $11,429,947
Total $37,377,686 $42,331,831
HB 6 – Natural Resources
General Revenue $9,858,085 $10,829,503
Total $558,319,893 $560,481,082
HB 6 – Conservation
General Revenue $0 $0
Total $148,119,522 $149,505,752
HB 7 – Economic Development
General Revenue $88,324,611 $80,948,436
Total $370,604,690 $362,460,962
HB 7 – Insurance
General Revenue $0 $0
Total $40,806,316 $40,668,920
HB 7 – Labor
General Revenue $2,363,480 $2,248,549
Total $185,640,013 $190,989,359
HB 8 – Public Safety
General Revenue $82,676,629 $69,471,854
Total $699,526,424 $734,682,088
HB 9 – Corrections
General Revenue $670,432,531 $661,290,269
Total $725,156,473 $710,168,328
HB 10 – Mental Health
General Revenue $705,514,408 $661,290,269
Total $1,753,047,699 $1,836,521,148
HB 10 – Health
General Revenue $286,713,941 $330,849,608
Total $1,181,112,711 $1,253,241,755
HB 11 – Social Services
General Revenue $1,532,947,954 $1,532,392,881
Total $8,655,534,883 $8,609,187,275
HB 12 – Elected Officials
General Revenue $50,632,537 $51,071,181
Total $123,769,927 $123,556,150
HB 12 – Judiciary
General Revenue $183,428,670 $183,058,930
Total $206,422,446 $208,131,056
HB 12 – Public Defender
General Revenue $39,739,909 $36,422,010
Total $42,847,492 $39,530,303
HB 12 – General Assembly
General Revenue $33,475,985 $34,438,373
Total $33,769,525 $35,732,378
HB 13 – Statewide Leasing
General Revenue $70,562,638 $71,014,354
Total $102,671,259 $102,991,759
Overall Budget
General Revenue $8,734,913,177 $8,854,825,360
Total $26,180,463,360 $26,027,765,727

Audit Blasts Nixon’s Use of State Planes
April 22, 2015

AP) – A state audit released Wednesday shows that Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has continued to use money meant for other agencies to pay for expensive in-state flights and staffing, despite lawmakers’ efforts to stop the practice.
If Nixon had not pulled money from other departments and delayed payments to a later fiscal year, the Democrat’s office would have exceeded its roughly $6.6 million budget by $1.9 million over the past three years, the audit found.
“If the rest of state government ran that way, we would be in deep trouble,” Deputy Auditor Harry Otto said.
Nixon said he hadn’t seen the audit’s findings but added that he doesn’t plan to change the way his office operates.
“The bottom line is we’re going to continue to make sure that we call on the resources of other departments when we need them, and we share the talents and skills of those other departments,” Nixon said.
The report comes amid budget negotiations for next fiscal year by frustrated lawmakers, who have questioned Nixon’s use of a state plane to fly across Missouri and have attempted to rein in the budget for his office.
Since 2012, the budgets passed by legislators have included wording restricting most state agencies from paying for travel and personnel expenses for the governor’s office and other statewide elected officials.
But the audit shows that Nixon’s administration has continued to do so.
The audit notes that the Revenue, Elementary and Secondary Education, and Health and Senior Services departments were among 14 agencies that paid the salaries of six members of governor’s staff.
In a written response included in the audit, Nixon’s office said it accounts for the costs in a way that properly reflects the work that is performed. Still, those employees work out of the governor’s office and are supervised by Nixon’s personnel.

Common Core Splits Missouri Parent Group
April 20, 2015

(AP) – A panel of Missouri teachers and parents tasked with reviewing the state’s education standards is so divided that members told the State Board of Education on Monday they have split into two groups.

At issue are the goals for what K-12 children should learn in each grade. Missouri now uses the national Common Core standards, which have been criticized by some parents and conservative lawmakers, who say they were adopted with little local input. Supporters say the standards create consistent, rigorous standards across state lines, which could help students from military families who frequently move.

Lawmakers opposed to Common Core last year required a review of the standards with the goal of replacing them with ones recommended by Missouri parents and teachers. But that process so far has been divisive, with some members interested in referencing Common Core standards and others pushing to abandon those guidelines completely, among a slew of other differences.

Tensions between the two factions were further demonstrated by a split in the group evaluating English and language arts guidelines for grades 6-12.

Stacy Shore, a parent who is a member of the Missouri Coalition Against Common Core and Concerned Women For America of Missouri, said she was among those who broke from that group. She said she realized “why education is broken in our state” after participating, and said her concerns include lack of enough input from educators and experts, as well as Department of Elementary and Secondary Education intervention in their efforts through a paid facilitator. Department officials have denied that accusation.

Roe Says He Wrote the Schwiech ‘ Barney Fife’ Spot
April 16, 2015

(AP) — A Missouri political consultant says he personally paid for a radio attack ad on the late state Auditor Tom Schweich during Schweich’s bid for governor.

Jeff Roe, the founder of a Kansas City political consulting firm, said in a statement Tuesday he footed the bill for a “House of Cards”-themed ad criticizing Schweich as weak.

Schweich fatally shot himself Feb. 26. He was facing a Republican primary with former state House speaker and U.S. attorney Catherine Hanaway in the governor’s race.

In a statement, Roe lamented Schweich’s death. Police have said it’s unclear why Schweich shot himself.

Roe paid for the ad through a limited liability company he solely owns.

The committee that produced the ad had shared the same treasurer as Hanaway’s campaign. Hanaway has said she didn’t know about the ad before it aired.

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