The Show-Me Spend-O-Meter For A New Year
New Year? It’s the end of July! Yes, it is, but for the state, it actually is a new year. Missouri’s fiscal year (FY) 2014 began on July 1, and as a part of our mission to keep you informed about the state spending money, we have updated the Show-Me Spend-O-Meter.
Compared to last year, the state is set to spend almost a billion dollars more. For those who like these things broken down (as the Spend-o-meter does), that amounts to nearly $30 more every second ($766.53 per second in FY 13 vs. $796.40 per second in FY 2014). A huge chunk (nearly 40 percent) of that comes from increased spending on Medicaid. Medicaid has continued to take up a larger share of the state budget. Just 10 years ago, Medicaid took up a little more than 29 percent of the budget; now, it is more than 36 percent. And this is a program that the governor wants to expand.
Other Show-Me oldies are in the new budget. The Wine & Grape Board gets a cool $1.8 million. Biodiesel incentives are still seeing a nice $5.5 million, and the Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority gets $130,000. Eliminating these won’t lead to a massive windfall, but every little bit helps.
The goal of the Spend-o-Meter is to help break down state spending in order to make it more comprehensible. When people realize that the state is spending close to $800 a second, it could put things into perspective and hopefully make taxpayers care about how the state is spending their money.