Missouri’s governor says there’s no guarantee that he’ll call a special session for the high-profile federal reimbursement allowance (FRA) issue.

Missouri House Budget Committee Chairman Cody Smith (R-Carthage), left, speaks to Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Dan Hegeman (R-Cosby)
at the Capitol in Jefferson City on May 5, 2021 (file photo courtesy of Tim Bommel at House Communications)

FRA is a key funding mechanism for Missouri Medicaid. While the Missouri House approved an extension this year, the Senate did not, due to a legislative dispute over abortion.

During a Friday interview with Missourinet in his Capitol office in Jefferson City, Governor Mike Parson (R) says it’s problematic.

“I think there’s other actions we’d have to go forward to be able to do that, which would create, you know, things that wouldn’t be very fun to do. But the reality of that is, that’s a very important piece of legislation and not to get that across the finish line at the end of a regular session is problematic,” Parson says.

Missouri Democratic state senators, including Sen. Karla May (D-St. Louis), have warned that Missouri faces the possibility of losing billions of dollars for Medicaid, since FRA wasn’t extended. FRA is set to expire on September 30.

The governor says because lawmakers didn’t approve the extension, he’ll have to “go down the restriction route.” Governor Parson tells Missourinet that there’s no legislative agreement on the FRA.

“I’m not for sure if you called a special session tomorrow that necessarily means you’re going to get it done. And I think it’s going really to be up to the House leadership and the Senate leadership and (House Budget Committee Chairman) Cody (Smith) and (Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman) Dan (Hegeman), the people that are really involved in this, to come to me and tell me they’ve got a plan in place and they’re going to get it passed. Short of that, we’re not going calling a special session,” says Parson.

The House Budget Committee chairman tells Missourinet he will work with Governor Parson and lawmakers to get it done.

“An FRA extension is critical to funding Missouri Medicaid, our state’s most expensive program. I’m interested in working with Governor Parson and my fellow legislators to reach an amicable solution as soon as possible,” House Budget Chairman Cody Smith (R-Carthage) says.

During a press conference on the final day of session on May 14, Chairman Smith told Capitol reporters in Jefferson City that the the FRA had “become more politically complicated this year, where in years past we’ve simply renewed the FRA and not addressed other subjects in the process.”

It’s ultimately up to Governor Parson whether to call a special session on FRA or any other issue.

Click here to listen to Governor Mike Parson (R) responding to questions from Missourinet’s Brian Hauswirth about the FRA issue. The interview was recorded in the governor’s office in Jefferson City, on May 28, 2021:

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