Missouri could add more than 350 state employees to its workforce. Gov. Mike Parson’s $47 billion state budget proposal for the next fiscal year includes that request.

Missouri has about 54,000 state workers.

State Sen. Denny Hoskins, R-Warrensburg, speaks on the Missouri Senate floor in Jefferson City on March 3, 2020 (file photo courtesy of Harrison Sweazea with Senate Communications)

The Missouri Legislature is getting to work on Parson’s wish list of state budget items. During a Missouri Senate Appropriations Committee hearing Tuesday, State Budget Director Dan Haug said about 100 Department of Social Services positions have been added due to Missouri’s passage of Medicaid expansion. He said court-related matters and federal funding are other reasons for the workforce increase. When the federal funding dries up, he said those federal funding employee jobs will vanish.

Sen. Denny Hoskins, R-Warrensburg, said he does not see eye-to-eye with the proposal to boost the number of full-time employees, known as FTEs.

“It looks like we’re going in the wrong direction,” said Hoskins. “As you know, I’ve been very critical and said that we need to cut employees,” said Hoskins. “If we’re going to add 358 FTEs, I’m going to look to cut 358 FTEs from somewhere else.”

Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Dan Hegeman, R-Cosby, said there are some vacant positions that need to be filled.

“I’ll give you a good example the veterans homes,” said Hegeman. “They’re only half staffed or less. But there are veterans waiting on a waiting list to be able to get into it and they can’t come in yet because we don’t have a full staff.”

Missouri has seven veterans homes – in Cameron, Cape Girardeau, Mexico, Mount Vernon, St. James, St. Louis, and Warrensburg.

To see other highlights from the governor’s budget proposal, click here.

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