The measures passed out of the Senate Appropriations Committee last week with smaller changes than in recent years. A notable exclusion from both the House and the Senate committee’s versions — despite an attempt that split the upper chamber’s committee members right down the middle — is Medicaid expansion, a point of contention across the Capitol.
With the fate of the measure in flux and the process nearing its end, here’s a look at some of the biggest differences between the House and Senate versions of the budget.
The Senate added more than $1 billion in funding from the House’s plan for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), upping the newly-formed Office of Childhood’s budget through a $3 million Medicaid home screening fund. The upper chamber’s version also included a $185 million child care services fund in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in addition to smaller programs and adjustments.
The House earmarked $5.2 million for the Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development’s Fast-track Workforce Incentive Grant Program which the Senate upped to $6.2 million. The Senate Appropriations Committee also added a nursing simulation laboratory facility fund to expand nursing education opportunities to be funded through $2 million in general revenue.
Additionally, the Senate appropriated an additional $1 million each for several colleges, including Missouri Western State University, Harris Stowe State University, and Lincoln University. Overall, the upper chamber’s proposal upped the House version by around $70 million.
Under the Senate’s recommended budget, the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) would receive $3.13 billion in funding for the year — $17 million more than the House’s version.
The Senate Appropriations Committee upped funding for locally matched rural and urban transit grants by $450,000 from the House’s recommended $31 million. The state’s rail program would also gain an additional $1 million under the Senate’s plan, exceeding $10.8 million total.
The Senate opted to fund Missouri’s Medicaid program for the full year (without expansion) while the House version amounted to 75 percent. Administrative services would receive nearly $37 million for the full year while the House’s plan would appropriate $10,000 less for the program. The Senate version also included an additional $1 million for the HealthNet Pharmacy fee-for-service and the Missouri Rx Plan.
The state waits with bated breath for the next conversation on Medicaid expansion; the House Budget Committee stripped the governor’s $1.9 billion recommendation, and its Senate counterpart voted down an attempt to attach its own version last week.
The upper chamber is taking up the budget for passage Wednesday.