Missouri Budget: A Primer (Update)
Nearly three years ago, my essay “Missouri’s Budget: A Primer” was published. In the years since, a lot has changed in our state, including the size of the budget. Today, Missouri’s budget is the biggest it’s ever been, and is more than $3.6 billion larger than it was in 2019. With billions in federal aid sent to our state over the past year and billions more on the way, understanding the process for how our elected officials choose to spend state tax dollars is more important than ever, which is why I decided to update this primer.
Next month during his State of the State address, Governor Parson will lay out his budget recommendations for the 2023 fiscal year. In addition, there are supplemental funding requests for our current fiscal year that require immediate legislative attention. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has requested approximately $2 billion be appropriated from federal relief funds by April, Missouri’s Medicaid expansion population will run out of funding soon, and the governor has recommended a $15 minimum wage along with a 5.5% pay raise for state employees starting February 1st.
My updated report provides the context necessary to fully understand the tough task ahead for Missouri’s legislature. It also provides a step-by-step explanation of the state’ budgeting process, a graphic explaining the expected timeline for the budget, and a detailed description of many of the difficult decisions required to craft and maintain a constitutionally-required balanced budget. As lawmakers discuss the economic forecasts for the coming year and decide how much to raise future state spending obligations, this report should help provide some valuable insight.
Click here to read the full report.