Senate approves supplemental budget, sends bill back to House

  

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri state Senate approved changes to the supplemental budget bill Thursday morning — sending the legislation back to the House. 

HB 14 addresses the supplemental budget for the various departments and offices in the state government for the FY 2019. It totals more than $468 million, with more than $188 million from the general revenue.

Sen. Dan Hegeman, the Republican Appropriations Committee chair, said the Senate didn’t affix too many changes to the House bill, noting it — for the most part — “accepted the House and the governor’s recommendations.” But the Senate version cut $21.8 million from the supplemental budget it took up, he said.

Briefing the Senate, Hegeman said the bulk of the appropriation in the supplemental budget bill deals with Medicaid. The total allocated is nearly $345 million, with nearly $136 million from the general revenue, he said.

As it returns the supplemental version back to the House, the Senate reduced a couple of Medicaid items due to updated numbers, Hegeman said.

Other changes include: restoration of some funding for the Missouri Department of Transportation and salaries for administrative law judges due to a court injunction.

The supplement also allocates $6 million for overtime compensation for the Department of Mental Health. Hegeman said that department, in particular, needs staff to work overtime in order to serve its clients.

The supplemental budget received some opposition on the Senate floor Thursday morning, particularly from Sen. Jason Holsman, a Democratic member of the Appropriations Committee.

Holsman said he wasn’t at odds with any numbers in the supplement but could not support it because he believes certain items unconstitutionally “legislate through the budget.” Holsman pointed to items that stipulated funds couldn’t be used for Medicaid expansion or facilities that perform abortions, including Planned Parenthood.

“For those reasons, I’m going to be voting no on this bill, and I would encourage the chamber to move away from this practice of legislating through the budget language. I always felt this isn’t the appropriate place to put language like this,” Holsman said.

Addressing the Senate, Sen. Bill Eigel decried the additional spending of tax money.

“With the passage of this supplement, we will complete the largest fiscal year ever in the state of Missouri. In other words, we’ll spend more of the taxpayers’ dollars than we’ve ever spent in a single fiscal year ever before in the history of this state,” Eigel said.

Eigel voted to approve the supplement.

The Senate changes passed in a 27 to 6 vote Thursday and sent back to the House.