Mo. House Approves Operating Budget

Mo. House Approves Operating Budget

The House approved the 13 appropriation bills making up the state’s operating budget.
(JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.) The Missouri House of Representatives put its stamp of approval on its version of the state’s 2015 operating budget this week.

The House approved the 13 appropriation bills making up the state’s operating budget.
   
The $26.6 budget covers the state’s operating expenses for fiscal year 2015.
   
The House’s budget calls for an increase of more than $121 million to the state’s education foundation formula.

“I think that’s extremely important to show that we were serious about trying to improve education across the state but especially with earmarking in the areas dedicated to the schools that are struggling,” Rep. Rick Stream (R)-Kirkwood said.

The House’s budget calls for an additional $156 million for the foundation formula, but only if revenue exceeds the House’s current projection.
   
However not everyone supports the tiered funding approach, some claim the stinginess of the majority could cost students across the state.

“It means that money will not be available for this school year, you cannot budget for something you don’t know that you will receive…underestimating means that Missouri school districts will plan less and will achieve less,” Rep. Margo McNeill (D)-Florissant said.

Democrats attempted to include Medicaid expansion into the House’s budget but it failed along a party line vote.
   
The budget also calls for a one percent cut to the state’s workforce.
   
In addition, it provides a one percent pay raise to state employees and provides more than $55 million worth of additional benefits.

The 13 budget bills now head to the Missouri Senate for consideration.
   
The state’s constitution requires all 13 budget bills to be on the governor’s desk by May 9.

  
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