A $51 billion state budget is now in the hands of Missouri Governor Mike Parson, who has already promised he will issue some line-item vetoes. State Sen. Lincoln Hough, R-Springfield, chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee. He said he expects some line-item vetoes as earlier spending plans between the governor and lawmakers were done 18 months in advance.

“It’s hard to do this, but we try to do the best job we can,” he told Missourinet affiliate KFEQ. “The legislature came in a little under what the governor had built out in his budget he released at the State of the State (Address). So at the end of the day, it’s his call, right? He gets to, he gets to make the final call.”

Hough said he’s worried that lawmakers failed to add enough funding for some crucial programs.

“Take our Medicaid program, for instance, or managed care providers, folks that pay providers for the care that’s being administered, for populations, hospitals, things like that, those bills have to be paid,” he said.

Hough expects the legislature to have to address shortfalls with additional budget bills, either later this year or next year. Still, he believes it’s a good spending plan.

“(We) still made investments in our teachers’ salaries, made investments in our classrooms, made investments in higher education, made investments in infrastructure all over the state, (in) law enforcement,” he said. “I mean, there’s a lot of good things in there.”

Hough discussed the budget during a campaign stop in St. Joseph. He’s seeking the Republican nomination for Lt. Governor.

Brent Martin of KFEQ St. Joseph contributed this report

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