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Parson signs $2B supplemental budget bill

  

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Gov. Mike Parson signed off on a supplemental budget bill Thursday, approving more than $2.1 billion in federal and general revenue funds for the state. 

In addition to funding for government operations, HB 15 included $50 million for the Municipal Utility Emergency Loan Program, a bipartisan effort that would assist local utilities reeling from the impact of February’s cold snap. An additional provision would provide $1 million for the Pretrial Witness Protection Fund approved by the legislature last year. 

Other recipients include the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program and the Pandemic Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (P-SNAP), as well as the state’s utilities and transportation infrastructure. 

The General Assembly passed its $3.4 billion budget earlier this month. The finalized version included a myriad of big topics from this session, including $48 million to cover the state’s share of mistaken unemployment overpayments issued during the COVID-19 pandemic. A bipartisan push to forgive the payments began after the Department of Labor started pursuing repayment, and both chambers have progressed legislation seeking to waive recoupment. 

A notable exclusion in the budget is funding for Medicaid expansion. Amy Blouin, CEO of the Missouri Budget Project, decried the lack of funding for the voter-approved measure.

“We’re extremely disappointed that Missouri policymakers continue to ignore the will of Missourians — especially with baseless claims about the fiscal impact of expansion,” she said. “Not only do states save money on existing health services, but federal funds from expansion create jobs and increase economic activity, generating additional tax revenue to fund the state’s share of expansion. No state has had to raise taxes or cut services to pay for it. Medicaid expansion will move forward in Missouri, but Missourians shouldn’t have to wait — yet again — to see the benefits expansion will bring our state.”

Despite a recommendation from Parson — and attempts in both chambers and the House Budget and Senate Appropriations committees — the package passed without the measure attached. Several groups have voiced their support for the expansion of the program, pointing to the societal impact and the fund’s addition to the state constitution.