House Speaker Ron Richard (R-Joplin) told members of the Missouri House they will have to do more with less this session.
Richard addressed the body on the first day of the 2009 session, speaking directly about the downturn in the economy and its drastic, negative effect on state revenue. What had been projected as a surplus budget has turned sharply, now projected to fall $300 to $400 million short of the revenue needed for the current fiscal year. Richard noted that all Missourians are suffering in the current economic conditions. He is proposing what House Republicans call the Family Recovery Plan, which would expand the Quality Jobs Program, enact a modest tax cut, create more access to health care and invest in alternative means of fuel.
The new legislative session opens with Republicans in firm control of both the House and Senate and the governor’s office soon to be in the hands of a Democrat, Governor-elect Jay Nixon.