The Missouri budget will still not show exactly how much is spent on executions, nor address the reporting to the IRS of money paid to execution team members.
An audit found execution team members, who are paid in cash, were’t being given tax forms to report that payment. Senate Budget Chairman Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia) said language proposed by the state House would have required that tax forms be issued by the Corrections Department to team members, but that was stripped out of the final budget proposal.
Schaefer said it could have violated the state’s protection of the identities of execution team members.
“That’s always been a process that’s been confidential for obvious reasons,” said Schaefer. “I understand that you have people that oppose the death penalty and that’s just a mechanism that they’re trying to use to further end that.”
Representative Jeremy LaFaver (D-Kansas City) said the state is breaking state and federal laws to protect those identities.
“We’re violating federal tax law by not issuing 1099s, we’re violating the state’s own laws relating to cash disbursements, we’re doing it in secret with piles and piles and piles of cash – hundreds of thousands of dollars pouring out of our state in envelopes,” said LaFaver, who voted against the bill that includes the Corrections Department’s budget because the final version didn’t include that language, or a budget line specifically for executions.
Rather than have such a line in the budget, the Department takes the money it uses for executions from a larger equipment and expenses fund, making it difficult to tell how much is expended on those.