Missouri budget

Marshall Griffin|St. Louis Public Radio

The rest of Missouri's budget for the next fiscal year has been signed into law.

Last week, Gov. Jay Nixon signed the budget bill for the Department of Higher Education into law, and on Thursday he signed into law the budget bill for the departments of Mental Health and Health and Senior Services. On Friday, he sign the remaining budget bills into law.

Missouri Capitol building
Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

The only task the Missouri General Assembly is required by law to accomplish has been accomplished and, for the second year in a row, accomplished two weeks before deadline.

Lawmakers have sent a roughly $27.2 billion state budget to Gov. Jay Nixon that increases spending on higher education as a whole, while specifically cutting funding from the University of Missouri System.

Marshall Griffin|St. Louis Public Radio

Working to pass Missouri's state budget ahead of schedule seems to be the new normal.

Usually at this point in the legislative year, the 13 bills making up the state budget would have barely been in the Missouri Senate's hands for a week. But on Thursday the upper chamber passed 12 of the 13 bills, sending them back to the House to set the stage for final negotiations.

The Missouri Senate Chamber
Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio | file photo

The Missouri Senate will take up the state budget when it reconvenes from spring break.

The $27 billion budget was passed by the House the same week Democratic senators orchestrated a 37-hour filibuster to stop a vote on a bill that would provide legal protections for businesses that refuse wedding-related services to same-sex couples. Due to the high tensions that resulted, Senate leaders decided to wait until after vacation to start discussing the budget.

Marshall Griffin|St. Louis Public Radio

Peace and quiet have descended on the Missouri Capitol as lawmakers are on spring break.

House Republicans are touting quick action on such things as ethics reform, a stricter abortion requirement for parental notification, and getting the state budget through the chamber. But Speaker Todd Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff, laments the Medicaid spending hike they passed for the current fiscal year.

Tim Bommel | Missouri House Communications

The Missouri House has voted to restore $925,000 to the current year's state budget.

Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, withheld more than $46.1 million from the fiscal year 2016 state budget last fall after a court ruling allowed the tobacco industry to skip out on a $50 million settlement payment.

House budget chair Tom Flanigan, R-Carthage, at right, directs debate on budget bills Tuesday.
Tim Bommel | Missouri House Communications

Missouri's $27 billion state budget is on its way to the Senate.

The House Thursday passed all 13 budget bills, which includes a nearly $9 million cut to higher education.

For that reason, several state representatives voted against the higher ed bill, HB 2003.

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri's proposed $27 billion budget for next year is up for debate this week in the Missouri House.

Last week, House budget writers cut $7.6 million from the University of Missouri System's proposed budget over the way it handled last fall's racial protests and over a perceived cozy relationship with Planned Parenthood. Rep. Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia, was unable to persuade House budget writers to restore the funding, but he plans to try again this week.

The Edward Jones Dome
Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

A House appropriations subcommittee stripped out the $12 million state appropriation that primarily pays off the Edward Jones Dome’s debt.

And while the legislative budget process is far from over, it does place half of the facility’s yearly debt payments into jeopardy.

Tax credits | Flickr

Although Missouri’s state revenue collections dropped slightly in December, the state’s budget chief says plans are still on track for Gov. Jay Nixon to base his budget proposal on a hoped-for 4.1 percent income hike during the coming fiscal year.

Missouri Budget Director Dan Haug says Nixon and the General Assembly’s budget chairmen have tentatively agreed on that income growth estimate to use in crafting budgets. Based on the 4.1 percent hike,  $360 million in additional revenue should be available for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Gov. Jay Nixon
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

A recent court ruling that excuses tobacco companies from making a $50 million payment to Missouri has resulted in the first cuts to the current year's state budget.

Gov. Jay Nixon is withholding approximately $46.1 million from the budget that took effect July 1.

St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri General Assembly is heading into its final week with an unusually short to-do list.

That’s because a number of issues, including a new state budget, were approved early. 

When legislators return Monday, Republican leaders had first planned to tackle the budget-item vetoes that Gov. Jay Nixon issued Friday afternoon. But the governor only vetoed one item, because of a technical error that's unlikely to generate an override. Instead, legislators will try to fix the problem.

Marie French | St. Louis Post-Dispatch | 2014

The Missouri General Assembly’s early action on the state budget – approving it two weeks ahead of schedule – sets the stage for a particularly frantic last week of the legislative session.

It also effectively ends the chance for expansion of Medicaid in Missouri during the three-year period that the federal government would pick up the whole tab.

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

With three weeks left in the 2015 legislative session, Missouri lawmakers have passed all 13 bills that make up the state's $26 billion spending plan for Fiscal 2016, which begins July 1.

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

After more than five hours of talks that stretched into the early morning hours, House and Senate negotiators have signed off on next year's $26 billion state budget.

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

With less than a month left in the 2015 session, Missouri lawmakers could debate and pass some of the year's top priorities this week.

Katelyn Petrin / St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis-area advocates for health and community care came together Monday morning to speak against budget cuts proposed by the Missouri Senate.

The columns at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
St. Louis Public Radio file photo

State higher education funding per full time student has dropped more than 26 percent in Missouri and increased almost 50 percent in Illinois over the past five years, according to data compiled by the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association.

The stark contrast between the states is due in part to an almost 29 percent variance in enrollment trends; Missouri enrollment has gone up while Illinois enrollment has gone down.

But Illinois Higher Education Director James Applegate said his state has also drastically increased its higher education funding in order to pay pension shortfalls.

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

Legislation designed to aid some delinquent taxpayers in Missouri is on its way to Gov. Jay Nixon's desk.

The House on Thursday overwhelmingly passed HB 384, the "tax amnesty" bill, which would allow people behind on their state income taxes to pay them off without additional penalties or interest.

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

(Updated April 9th, 11:17 a.m.)

Less than 12 hours after the Missouri Senate passed the Fiscal Year 2016 state budget, the Missouri House has rejected changes made to 12 of the 13 budget bills.

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

It was a busy Good Friday for Gov. Jay Nixon. First, he announced that he's released $43 million that’s been withheld from the current state budget, citing an improvement in revenue collection. Then he announced his first vetoes of the session.

Since Missouri's state lawmakers are on spring break this week, "St. Louis on the Air" is checking in to see what they've accomplished so far, and what remains on the to-do list.

Four bills have been passed by both chambers and sent to the governor:

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri lawmakers are heading home as their annual spring break has arrived, but they took time before leaving to tout their mid-term accomplishments.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

The Missouri House has passed the 13 bills that make up the Fiscal Year 2016 state budget about three weeks earlier than usual.

Republicans want to send the budget to Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, early enough to require him to make any line-item vetoes while lawmakers are still in session.  That, in turn, would allow them to override any vetoes right away instead of waiting until September's veto session.

a rolling dollar bill
dleafy | sxc.hu

After months of lower-than-hoped-for revenue collections, Missouri's state government saw an unexpected boost in income in December.  And that could result in lower tensions over money in the Capitol.

State income – primarily taxes – rose 10.7 percent in December, compared to the same period a year ago.  The chief reason: higher collections in individual income taxes and sales taxes.

(via Flickr/Robert S. Donovan)

The amount of money education in Missouri receives from casino gaming and the lottery is down significantly, according to Gov. Jay Nixon's budget office.

Bill Greenblatt | UPI

  

Who should have the power over the Missouri budget? The legislature, which writes the budget? Or the governor who is constitutionally required to balance it?

The latest salvo in the ongoing battle between Missouri's Democratic governor and the Republican-led legislature over the state budget is Amendment 10 on the November ballot. 

Constitutional Amendment 10 would limit the governor's budgetary authority. Specifically, it would limit his ability to withhold money temporarily from the budget each year.

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

Budget leaders in the Missouri House and Senate say they’ll try to override at least 50 of Gov. Jay Nixon’s line-item vetoes in the state budget in the veto sessions starting Wednesday.

But the governor and Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster say legislators may be wasting their time. And the legislators acknowledged that such override attempts may indeed be symbolic.

State Auditor's office

Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich says an audit released Monday shows that Gov. Jay Nixon violated Missouri's constitution when he withheld money from two recent state budgets.

Schweich says the governor had no legal right to withhold $172 million from several state programs to help cover costs from the Joplin tornado and other recent natural disasters during fiscal year 2012.

New numbers show Missouri's women who worked full-time earned about 78 percent of men's earnings in 2013.
(via Flickr/Tax Credits)

Missouri is beginning its new fiscal year on an upswing, with general-revenue income for July – the first month of the fiscal year – up 6.5 percent compared to a year ago.

But state Budget Director Linda Luebbering cautions that state government income is still below where it needs to be if it is to hit the General Assembly’s estimates that legislators used to assemble their approved budget.

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