Gov. Mike Parson has called another special session – this time to focus on getting extra federal coronavirus funding made available to the state. The federal aid includes funding for school meals, grants for homelessness prevention and job training, child support payments, among others.
“COVID-19 has had an overwhelming impact on our state, and while we have made great progress, this additional funding will be critical as we continue to respond and work through the recovery process,” Parson says. “We look forward to working with the General Assembly to make sure these funds are distributed across Missouri as soon as possible.”
According to the State Auditor’s website, Missouri has been given nearly $3 billion in federal CARES Act funding. The state has allocated out about $1.7 billion of the money.
House Minority Leader Crystal Quade, D-Springfield, says the governor’s call for a special session is a political stunt.
“When the legislature passed the current state budget in May, it granted the governor broad authority to spend federal coronavirus relief funds precisely so he would have the flexibility to act without calling lawmakers back to Jefferson City. As a result, it is highly questionable whether this special session is even necessary,” says Quade. “The governor’s response to the pandemic has ranged from indifference to incompetence and thousands of Missourians have died. Calling a special session this close to an election he is in jeopardy of losing seems more like a desperate political move than leadership.”
Lawmakers are scheduled to begin the session November 5.
This is the second special session Parson has called lawmakers back to Jefferson City for this year. Over the summer, he called one to have the Missouri Legislature pass crime legislation.
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