Missouri’s House Budget Committee chairman says progress has been made on a key funding mechanism for Missouri Medicaid, and he’s asking the governor to call a special session by the end of the month.

Missouri House Budget Committee Chairman Cody Smith (R-Carthage) briefs Capitol reporters in Jefferson City on
May 14, 2021, as House Speaker Rob Vescovo (left) listens (file photo courtesy of Tim Bommel at House Communications)

The issue involves the federal reimbursement allowance (FRA). While the Missouri House approved an extension this year, the Senate did not, because of a legislative dispute over abortion.

“As discussions continue, I’m encouraged by the recent progress that has been made on renewing our FRA. This is an urgent issue that the General Assembly should address before the end of this month, which is the end of our fiscal year,” House Budget Chairman Cody Smith (R-Carthage) told Missourinet this weekend.

The clock is ticking, with just 17 days left until the start of the fiscal year on July 1.

Democratic lawmakers, including Senate Minority Leader John Rizzo (D-Independence) and 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.

Governor Mike Parson (R) has made it clear in a recent interview with Missourinet and with several public remarks that he will not call a special session on FRA, unless lawmakers present a plan to him that will pass.

During a briefing with Capitol reporters in Jefferson City last week, the governor emphasized that daily negotiations are continuing on the FRA issue, with Chairman Smith and Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Dan Hegeman (R-Cosby).

The governor has also been warning that the clock is ticking. He says if there’s not an “agreement with a solution” before July 1, he will have to start the withholding process.

Chairman Hegeman has said that he’s optimistic that a deal can be reached.

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