Every fall state agencies across Missouri start the process of putting their budget requests together. Unfortunately, some view this wish list as an attempt to spend tax dollars freely and without accountability. Others play a game where they ask the legislature for more than they need, hoping they can compromise to a slightly lower number during budget negotiations. Because of our tight fiscal leadership over the past few years, including cutting taxes while balancing the budget, these agencies all too often dream of dollar signs this time of year.Then, there are agencies like the Missouri Consolidated Health Care Plan (MCHCP) that present realistic and data-driven requests that allow them to perform their duties efficiently and effectively. That’s no small task when you consider that MCHCP provides healthcare coverage to tens of thousands of state employees and retirees, as well as other public employees. Largely driven by liberal policies in Washington, many states are struggling with the impacts of inflation on healthcare services. However, with MCHCP being a solid partner in streamlining services and seeking to improve health outcomes, employee health insurance costs aren’t overwhelming Missouri’s conservative budget. I look forward to working with my fellow legislators back in Jefferson City in January to ensure that Missouri’s budget reflects the conservative values that Missourians sent us there to represent. This job is made easier when agencies like MCHCP take a collaborative approach to bringing needed services to Missourians in a fiscally responsible manner. We should demand that more of the bureaucracy follows their lead when putting Missouri’s next budget together.
House Budget Chairman