Legislation aimed at preventing waste or fraud of federal stimulus dollars will be heard Monday afternoon by the Missouri House Budget Committee in Jefferson City.

Missouri House Budget Committee Chairman Cody Smith (R-Carthage) speaks on the House floor on March 30, 2021, as Speaker Pro Tem John Wiemann (R-O’Fallon) and Floor Leader Dean Plocher (R-St. Louis County) visit (file photo courtesy of Tim Bommel at House Communications)

The bill from Budget Chairman Cody Smith (R-Carthage) establishes the Committee on Local Recovery Accountability and Transparency to conduct oversight of stimulus money.

“This is counties and cities, namely. They’re about to receive hundreds of millions, if not billions, of direct federal aid from Congress, through the American Rescue Plan,” Smith says.

President Joe Biden (D) signed the American Rescue Plan of 2021. Under Smith’s bill, there would be a bipartisan five-member committee to provide oversight of funds received by cities and counties. The committee would include a Missouri House member, a state senator, state budget director Dan Haug, State Auditor Nicole Galloway (D) and State Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick (R).

“Ultimately what we’re trying to do here is avoid any waste, fraud and abuse that takes place at times when we’re seeing a tremendous amount of stimulus spending will be going around the state,” says Smith.

Smith’s two-page House Bill 1356 would require Missouri local governments to report receipt of rescue plan funds and their expenditures within 30 days.

Click here to listen to the full interview between Missourinet’s Brian Hauswirth and Missouri House Budget Committee Chairman Cody Smith (R-Carthage), which was recorded on April 23, 2021:

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