A Missouri House committee on federal stimulus money will hold a mid-July hearing in Jefferson City. House Subcommittee on Federal Stimulus Spending Chairman Doug Richey (R-Excelsior Springs) says the hearing will involve restricted money that will come to Missouri under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021.

State Rep. Doug Richey (R-Excelsior Springs) speaks on the Missouri House floor in Jefferson City on May 14, 2021 (file photo courtesy of Tim Bommel at House Communications)

“We’re going to be working within that particular hearing with our various departments along with (state budget director) Dan Haug with the governor’s staff on what we’re looking at in light of what we know on the pass-through dollars, those restricted funds, within our departments,” Richey says.

Missouri is expected to receive billions of dollars in funding from ARPA, but it’s unclear what the exact amount will be. Chairman Richey says there will be many opportunities for one-time capital improvement appropriations for state buildings, colleges and universities and for public safety.

The committee is working to vet the priorities for the money that will come in. Richey says by the hearing date, the comment period will be closed on ARPA federal guidance. State budget director Haug will testify.

“I think it’s just going to be helpful for our committee to hear in July from Dan as well as our (state) department directors to see what they have gleaned in addition to what our assumptions are in the initial release of the federal guidance that took place back in May,” says Richey.

The state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has already submitted the application required to receive Missouri’s allocation of federal education dollars. 90 percent of the $1.9 billion will be distributed to local school districts and to local education agencies.

Chairman Richey also confirms that informal discussions that have been taking place are “lining up toward” a September special session in Jefferson City. He tells Missourinet that the special session, if called, would be to approve a supplemental budget to accept the billions of dollars heading to Missouri under ARPA.

“Where we would be taking up what would then be a supplemental budget bill that would establish spending authority for our departments to go ahead and move some of these ARPA dollars in advance of January of 2022,” Richey says.

It’s ultimately up to Governor Mike Parson (R) whether or not to call a September special session for a supplemental budget.

Click here to listen to Brian Hauswirth’s full interview with Missouri House Subcommittee on Federal Stimulus Spending Chairman Doug Richey (R-Excelsior Springs), which was recorded on June 18, 2021:

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