About $54 million in additional state budget requests are being made by Missouri state agencies – $50 million of which is for social welfare programs. With federal and other funding recommendations included, the total budget requests amount to about $222 million. House Budget Committee Chairman Scott Fitzpatrick (R-Shell Knob) tells Missourinet that budget members will address the funding requests during the next legislative session.
“Looking at the department requests, I don’t see anything too frivolous in there,” says Fitzpatrick. “When I say frivolous, I mean where there’s much argument about whether or not it’s going to be necessary.”
The largest recommendations are nearly $23 million for Medicaid programs, $12 million for home and community based care and nearly $10 million for child welfare programs. Other requests include $1.5 million for the state’s merit based “Bright Flight” scholarships and $1.2 million for projected overtime as a result of a federal overtime rule that is slated to begin December 1.
Fitzpatrick says the additional budget request total is much lower than some previous ones.
“I want to say last year, we were around $300 million just on the general revenue requests,” says Fitzpatrick. “I think all in, we were over $500 million. So, if you compare it to last year, I mean we’re one-sixth of the amount on general revenue and all in we are less than half anyway. I think that’s an improvement.”
Missouri’s $27 billion state budget includes about $12.5 billion for social welfare programs and administration.
Fitzpatrick says additional budget recommendations are also expected from the next governor, but he thinks the amount will be less than the total department requests. Missouri voters will decide in November’s general election who will be the state’s next top leader.