Missouri’s governor says the only special session he plans to call this year at this point involves congressional redistricting, which is required because of the new U.S. Census data.
Governor Mike Parson tells Capitol reporters that he currently has 13 requests for special sessions, on his desk.
“The legislators have not even been out two to three weeks and we’ve already got 13 requests, which is not even practical to think that you’re going to be able to do that on taxpayer dollars. Most of the items we’re talking about have already (been) discussed in the legislative session, just didn’t get across the finish line,” Parson says.
The requests for special sessions include the issue of Kansas City Police Department funding, violent crime in St. Louis, the Grain Belt eminent domain issue in northern Missouri and one on biodiesel.
Parson briefed Capitol reporters in his Jefferson City office, after Monday’s bill-signing ceremony for prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) legislation.
Governor Parson says daily negotiations continue on the federal reimbursement allowance (FRA) issue. FRA is a key funding mechanism for Missouri Medicaid, and the Senate failed to approve an extension this year because of a legislative dispute over abortion.
“You know we’ve talked to different people you know meeting with the budget (committee) chairs, we’ve talked to the budget chairs and most of my (staff) people are working on this daily,” says Parson.
Democratic lawmakers, including State 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 will expire on September 30.
The governor says the clock is ticking.
“You know if there’s not some sort of agreement with a solution, you know and it doesn’t happen before July 1, there’s not going to be any choices, we’re going to have to start withholding (on) July 1,” Parson says.
July 1 is the start of the next fiscal year. The governor reiterates that he will not call a special session on FRA, unless legislative leaders present a plan to him that will pass.
Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Dan Hegeman (R-Cosby) and House Budget Committee Chairman Cody Smith (R-Carthage) are involved in the daily negotiations with the governor’s office. Hegeman has said that he’s optimistic that a deal can be reached.
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