Lawmakers Over Ride Nixon Welfare Ceto
May 5, 2015

(AP) – Missouri lawmakers voted Tuesday to remove several thousand families from a welfare program by imposing shorter time limits for people to receive the benefits, overriding a veto by the state’s Democratic governor.
The new law will reduce Missouri’s lifetime limit for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families cash assistance program from five years to three years and nine months, starting in January. The law also imposes stricter work requirements.
The Republican-led House voted 113-42 Tuesday to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto, largely along party lines. The Senate voted 25-9 to override the veto on Monday.
Shortly after the vote, Nixon announced that he had vetoed another Republican-backed bill paring back the social safety net. That bill would reduce the duration of unemployment rates from the current 20 weeks to as few as 13 weeks by linking the length to the state’s unemployment rate.
Republican lawmakers already have said they will try to override the veto of the jobless benefits bill. But the House fell well short of the two-thirds majority that would be needed when the bill originally was sent to Nixon last month. The House also failed to override Nixon’s veto of a similar unemployment bill last year.
Both measures are part of a push by Republicans in several states to curtail spending on social programs in a way that they say encourages personal responsibility. In neighboring Kansas, Gov. Sam Brownback, a Republican, signed a measure earlier this year to prohibit spending cash assistance on recreational activities such as swimming pools and movies.

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
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 Senate Passes Lump Sum Budget for 3 Agencies
April 2, 2015

(AP) – A Missouri Senate committee has endorsed a budget plan that its chairman says will constrain the state’s fastest-growing costs.

The Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday approved a measure creating lump-sum grants for most programs in the Department of Social Services, Department of Mental Health and Department of Health and Senior Services.

The proposal would reduce the totals for the Social Services department by 6 percent – or about $100 million – compared with the House’s version, and a combined 4 percent, about $30 million, for the others.

It would still be a net increase over the current budget. Committee chairman Sen. Kurt Schaefer says the departments should be able to find efficiencies.

Missouri Legislature Snowed Out
February 16, 2015

(AP) – The Capitol will be quiet Monday because winter weather is in the forecast.
Missouri Senate Majority Leader Ron Richard says he’s calling off Monday’s session. Richard says the Senate won’t convene until 4 p.m. Tuesday. The Missouri House, meanwhile, is calling off all of Monday’s committee hearings.
The National Weather Service is predicting that a storm system will move into the state Sunday night. Snow accumulations of 3 to 6 inches are predicted across central Missouri, with 1 to 3 inches expected along the Missouri River.
The Legislature typically meets from Monday afternoon through Thursday afternoon.

How Far Will RTW Go?
February 12, 2015

(AP) – A statewide right-to-work measure passed in the Missouri House on Thursday, potentially setting the stage for an intense fight in the Senate where one Democrat who’s a retired union member said she would “fall on her sword” to block it.

The measure, approved 91-64 with two members present but not voting, would bar unions statewide from collecting fees from non-members. Final passage, after an initial vote in support on Wednesday, marks a political victory for Republican supporters who had failed to gain the needed constitutional majority last session for approval.

House Speaker John Diehl said it was a historic vote and that even if Missouri didn’t become a right-to-work state this year, it was “inevitable” and the issue would keep coming up until it does pass.

But getting it to the desk of Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat who has said he opposes right-to-work, may be a challenge.

Sen. Gina Walsh, D-Bellefontaine Neighbors, would not say whether she would filibuster but noted that, as a retired union member, she strongly opposes the measure.

“I would absolutely fight that bill. It’s one of my core values and beliefs,” Walsh said. “To me, that’s a bill that I’m willing to fall on my sword for.”


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 109 other followers