The federal stimulus package is being signed by President Barack Obama on Tuesday. On the eve of the signing, members of the Senate Select Committee on Oversight of Federal Stimulus Plan had a chance to speak with representatives of the National Conference of State Legislatures to get an idea about the money headed to Missouri and – more importantly – how much freedom Missouri has to determine how best to spend that money.
Officials with the NCSL were able to provide some information to the committee, but were unable to answer many of the questions regarding details. Senator Scott Rupp (R-Wentzville), Chairman of the panel, says there is a lot of confusion about this package with the fear that most of the money coming to Missouri will be one-time spending that will go primarily for hiring and ongoing expenses.
"It’s real clear now," says Rupp, "That the money that is being sent here is a one-time infusion to be used for ongoing expenses. So, we are setting ourselves for falling off a cliff because when this money train stops in two years we are left with all these salaried people, all this expension of government, with no money to pay for it."
Rupp says if by accepting stimulus money Missouri finds itself with expenses it cannot sustain, it might be wise to leave the money on the table.