The Senate Interim Sub Committee on Fiscal Response held its first and only hearing Tuesday. The nearly 6 hour session packed the Senate hearing room as lawmakers looked at the costs various state agencies incurred from disasters this year.
Chairman, Columbia Senator Kurt Schaefer asked each of the state agencies and other entities represented whether it had any pressing issues that might require the legislature to make a supplemental appropriation in January. None came forward with such a concern. Schaefer said after the hearing he thinks work on the 2013 budget will be underway before expenses related to events like the St. Louis and Joplin tornadoes and flooding on the Missouri River begin to be known.
Senator Schaefer was not satisifed with all the testimony he heard, however. He pressed Budget Director Linda Luebbering for details on the costs to the state, which she said she could not offer.
Senator Schaefer also called into question the Governor’s continued withholding of money from K-12 and higher education. The Senator says the Governor has indicated part or all of that withhold was to make money available for disaster response. He suggests then that if it will be next year before any costs are due, that money should be released.
The Interim Committee on Natural Disaster Recovery, which is a parent to Schaefer’s and two other Sub-Committees, meets on Tuesday.