Governor Nixon isn’t the only one concerned about the Senate’s action, or inaction, on two bills that would bring hundreds of millions of federal dollars to Missouri. The House is getting nervous as well.
The House just wrapped up work on its proposed $23 billion state budget for the fiscal year that begins at the first of July. That budget depends on $189 million in federal funding to keep the basic school funding formula, known as the Foundation Formula, level at slightly more than $3 billion. The 13 budget bills have been sent to the Senate for its consideration.
House Minority Leader Mike Talboy, a Democrat from Kansas City, questioned the actions of Senators who threaten to prevent the state from accepting the federal money for public school districts during a discussion with House Budget Committee chairman Ryan Silvey (R-Kansas City).
“I know that we have, a certain, you would probably have to call them fringe, I would probably call them lunatic fringe, in the Senate that is holding up $189 million of education money that’s coming down from the federal government,” Talboy stated.
It’s a delicate issue for Silvey, who hesitated to criticize fellow Republicans in the Senate, as Talboy worried about the impact on Missouri school districts.
“So catastrophic events for our students, either way,” Talboy suggested.
“Obviously, it’s not something I want to see happen. I think the House took a pretty strong position that we would like to see that money applied the way we asked it to be applied,” Silvey responded. “Use whatever adjective you’re comfortable with. It’s not going to be a good situation.”
Silvey has suggested that if the Senate blocks acceptance of the federal money, it needs to come up with a way to make up for the loss.