The Missouri House voted Tuesday to give preliminary approval to a proposed $1.27 billion supplemental budget, a supplemental that is the reason for the special session.

Missouri House Speaker Elijah Haahr, R-Springfield, (right) talks with House Budget Committee Chair Cody Smith, R-Carthage, and Majority Leader Rob Vescovo, R-Arnold, on
May 7, 2020 in Jefferson City (file photo courtesy of Tim Bommel at House Communications)

The supplemental budget includes funding for school nutrition programs, job training grants, $1 million for witness protection funding and money for child support payments.

Governor Mike Parson (R) called the special session, saying there is still CARES Act funding that needs to be distributed to Missourians.

One key part of Tuesday’s debate involved funding for the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) for food.

State Rep. Justin Hill, R-Lake St. Louis, tells Missouri House colleagues that the money would be better spent on other things, saying some Missouri school districts have become “glorified lunchrooms.”

Representative Hill is specifically critical of the school district in eastern Missouri’s Wentzville, telling colleagues on the House floor that leaders there have failed. State Rep. Bryan Spencer, R-Wentzville, expresses similar concerns. Both Hill and Spencer note they have heard from many Wentzville parents.

State Rep. Raychel Proudie, D-Ferguson, responded by saying there shouldn’t be a child in the state who is hungry.

State Rep. Peter Merideth, D-St. Louis, spoke on the House floor this morning about day cares across the state, warning that many of them are suffering financially. He says it’s a major issue across the state and must be addressed.

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