The Missouri House Budget Committee Chairman says the $28 billion budget approved by the House this week contains record funding for the K-12 education foundation formula.

Missouri House Budget Committee Chairman Scott Fitzpatrick speaks on the House floor on May 9, 2018 (photo courtesy of Tim Bommel at House Communications)

State Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick, R-Shell Knob, briefed the Capitol Press Corps on Thursday afternoon in Jefferson City. His top priority was fully funding the formula used to finance K-12 education.

“We fully funded the foundation formula for the second year in a row and the second time in history,” Fitzpatrick says. “We prevented further cuts to the higher education institutions in the state.”

The House budget contains a $98 million increase for the formula. It also includes a $700 pay increase for state employees earning less than $70,000.

Meantime, Missouri corrections officers will receive a pay increase in July and again in January, under the state budget approved this week by the House.

Chairman Fitzpatrick tells Missourinet he hopes the raises will reduce turnover at the Missouri Department of Corrections.

“The raise we agreed to specifically for correction officers combined with the raise for all state employees amounts to over $1,000 increase, which for some of these corrections officers who are making in the high 20s, low 30s per year I think is significant,” says Fitzpatrick.

Missouri has 21 adult prisons.

House Subcommittee on Corrections Workforce Environment and Conduct Chairman Jim Hansen, R-Frankford, told the House this week that Missouri needs about 500 more corrections officers.

House Speaker Todd Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff, also spoke to Capitol reporters on Thursday. He says there’s been more cooperation between the two chambers in 2018 than any of his eight years in the House.

“Let me say, I think there is a higher level of coordination happening back and forth between the House and the Senate this year than I have ever seen before,” Richardson says. “It’s leading to really productive results.”

Richardson praises Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Dan Brown, R-Rolla, Chairman Fitzpatrick and their committee members in both parties.

Richardson says they worked long hours and approved a balanced budget that funds the priorities of Missourians, without raising taxes.

House Democratic leaders did not hold a media briefing on Thursday. Since the House is in session on Friday, Democratic leaders are expected to brief reporters on Friday.

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