Missouri could lose $3.58 billion if it doesn’t pass a Federal Reimbursement bill, or FRA, by the end of the session Friday, but that bill could be caught up in political strategizing. Republican leaders might use that bill as leverage to get to a vote on a so-called “Right to Work” measure.
FRA Senate sponsor Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia) says the bill has become an important game piece.
“I suspect that there’s a lot of acknowledgement on both sides of the aisle that the bill has to pass. That’ll be a major key in what happens next week,” said Schaefer.
Senate Floor Leader Ron Richard (R-Joplin) says “Right to Work” is one of his priorities and he intends to bring it up early next week.
“There are priorities on both sides of the aisle. If mine don’t make it, nobody else’s will either,” said Richard.
Senator Paul LeVota (D-Independence) was asked if he thinks Richard is holding the FRA issue “hostage.”
“It sounds like it is. It sounds like what Senator Schaefer and the Floor Leader are saying is that it is being held hostage. That’s a shame. If FRA is a priority, they can bring it up,” said LeVota.
The FRA funds are scheduled to expire at the end of this year. The allowance gives Missouri federal matching funds of 60% from a tax on hospitals.