Gov. Mike Parson says he supports the Missouri Senate’s proposed state budget changes including $2.8 billion to widen Interstate-70 to at least three lanes in both directions from Blue Springs near Kansas City to Wentzville near St. Louis.

“We wanted to at least build the foundation and then let the legislators go from there. If they wanted to add to that, we were fine for whatever that was going to be,” he told members of the media. “We’re not disappointed whatsoever. We’re glad it’s getting done because that’s the long-term investments you can do when we’re in the shape we are in this state of our funding and because things are going so well in this state and if we can do the whole thing, that’s great. That’s longevity. That’s for the future of Missouri and that’s a big plus for our state.”

Parson’s initial state budget proposal during his State of the State address was $859 million to widen the I-70 corridor to three lanes in both directions near St. Louis, Columbia, and Kansas City. One of his key priorities as governor has been infrastructure.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Lincoln Hough, R-Springfield, is proposing to use $1.4 billion in state funding and borrow $1.4 billion to complete the I-70 project. Hough explained the dramatic difference between the House and Senate’s budget.

“All of these capital investments are one-time infrastructure transformative projects in my opinion,” he explained. “Again, I’ve said it a hundred times, but I think when you have, when you have one-time money, you don’t build long-term budget changes and budget recommendations. So, as much as it is possible, the committee, and the entire Senate, made investments with one-time money and one-time large infrastructure projects.”

Senate President Pro Tem Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia, said that the budget will pass before this coming Friday’s deadline.

“We did it in a way that doesn’t bankrupt the state when we, inevitably, come back down to early as it relates to revenues, but that budget and the budget that is inevitably going to pass before (this) Friday, is something, I think, everybody can be proud of,” he said.

House and Senate budget negotiations are expected early this week, with Friday being the deadline for the legislature to pass a balanced state budget proposal.

Copyright © 2023 · Missourinet