Missouri budget

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

The Missouri House has passed all 13 budget bills with an estimated $26.6 billion spending plan for Fiscal Year 2015, which begins July 1.

During Thursday's round of budget votes, House Democrats began sharply criticizing this year's budget writing process. Along with Gov. Jay Nixon, they disagree with House Republicans about how much revenue they think the state will take in.  State Rep. Margo McNeil, D-Hazelwood, accused GOP leaders of crafting an unnecessarily low budget.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri House has given first-round approval to next year's state budget -- after spending most of Tuesday on amendments to the FY 2015 budget, including two attempts to expand Medicaid.  Both failed, and both were sponsored by state Rep. Jill Schupp, D-Creve Coeur.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

House budget writers have passed Missouri's state budget for Fiscal Year 2015, which begins July 1.

The roughly $28 billion spending plan still includes a funding increase for the state's K-12 schools, which would be around $122 million if projections by House and Senate Republican leaders turn out to be correct.  If Gov. Jay Nixon's rosier revenue picture turns out to be correct, then K-12 spending would increase by $278 million.

Medicaid expansion blocked again

Entrance to Normandy High School campus
(via Google Maps screen capture)

The Missouri House has passed a supplemental budget for the current fiscal year.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon’s decision to release $132 million withheld from the current budget was influenced, in part, by the rosier state revenue collections in February, his budget chief says.

State Budget Director Linda Luebbering announced Tuesday that net general revenue collections for February shot up 17.3 percent ($69 million), compared to February 2013.   That strong showing follows several months of less-than-stellar revenue numbers, particularly in January.

Marshall Griffin, KWMU

(Updated 12:45 p.m. Fri., Feb. 14)

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has unveiled a tentative deal for a tax-cut package made with some Republicans in the state Senate, but his requirements could delay when -- or if -- the cuts go into effect.

Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

Every week, St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon's Chris McDaniel, Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum talk about the week’s politics.

This week, Jo Mannies hosted state House Budget chairman Rick Stream, a Republican from Kirkwood. She was joined by Marshall Griffin of St. Louis Public Radio’s Jefferson City bureau. (Listen to an earlier podcast with Stream.)

On the show, Stream said:

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Republican leaders in the Missouri House have scrapped the budget being proposed by Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat. Instead they will use last year's budget bills as a starting point for crafting their fiscal year 2015 spending plan.

House Budget Chair Rick Stream, R-Kirkwood, says their budget bills contain none of the governor's spending proposals for the fiscal year (FY2015) that begins July 1.

(Missouri Department of Transportation/Facebook)

This year’s array of snowstorms kept governmental entities across Missouri busy plowing roads. It hasn't been cheap to keep streets clear.  And the expense is expected to go up as winter storms continue their blitz across the St. Louis area and the Show Me State.

To understand just how much more expensive this winter is than previous years, Missouri Department of Transportation’s Elizabeth Wright provides some perspective.  She says it’s cost the state around $40 million to plow snow off state roads so far. But MoDOT spends on average $42 million every year.

a rolling dollar bill
dleafy | sxc.hu

Missourians flocked to the stores in December, causing a huge increase in the state’s sales tax collections that, in turn, has helped fatten the state government’s coffers more than expected.

State Budget Director Linda Luebbering on Thursday credited a rosier public mood – which apparently led to more holiday shopping – for a  25.9 percent increase in Missouri’s sales tax collections in December, compared to December 2012.

(UPI file photo/Bill Greenblatt)

Updated 2:30 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013

In a spirit of Christmas Eve,  Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon today announced that he was releasing about $40.1 million in withheld budget allocations for a variety of projects – most notably $18 million for repairs and improvements to the state Capitol building and $5 million for projects at Missouri state parks.

Another $38 million, sought by legislative leaders to buy a new office building, remains withheld.

Missouri Capitol building
Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

(Updated 1:20 a.m. Friday, Dec. 20)

Missouri legislative leaders and Gov. Jay Nixon are disagreeing on what revenue estimates should be used in drawing up the state budget for the coming fiscal year – an argument that could affect the General Assembly’s deliberations when it goes back into session in a few weeks.

But the specifics of the budget dispute aren’t clear because most of the parties involved are commenting only through press releases and offering -- at least so far -- few additional details.

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - Even as the Missouri General Assembly considers tax breaks for Boeing, the latest state revenue numbers indicate a slowdown in the state’s economic recovery.

Missouri’s general revenue collections for November were up only 1 percent, compared to November 2012, putting the fiscal year-to-date increase slightly below what had been estimated when the General Assembly and Gov. Jay Nixon’s staff crafted the state’s current budget.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - Missouri state government is seeing its coffers continue to grow – although arguably at a slower pace -- thanks to continued increases in individual and corporate income tax collections, plus a bump in sales taxes.

In essence, that’s the portrait painted by the state’s latest revenue numbers released Monday.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Two days after pledging to significantly raise Missouri's Higher Education budget next year, Governor Jay Nixon (D) on Wednesday pledged to do the same for the state's public schools.

Nixon told K-12 school leaders in Jefferson City that the state's AAA credit rating and improving economy will enable his administration to spend more money on educating Missouri's children.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Close to 1,000 members of the Missouri National Guard are expected to be furloughed shortly, as a result of the federal government shutdown, state officials announced Wednesday.

The furloughed group represents 70 percent of the 1,400 of the Guard’s "federal technician" staff. Their pay is covered by federal money and affected by the shutdown. The remaining 30 percent are deemed essential and will stay on.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The Missouri Supreme Court has tossed out state Auditor Tom Schweich’s suit challenging Gov. Jay Nixon’s authority to withhold money allocated in state budget, ruling among other things that the auditor acted too quickly.

The 6-0 decision, released Tuesday, also reaffirmed that the Missouri constitution grants the governor broad powers to reduce or restrict state spending during the budget year.

Bill Greenblatt/UPI

Governor Jay Nixon (D) has released just over half of the $400 million he withheld earlier this year from Missouri's current state budget.

In a press release, he announced that $215 million will be divvied up among K-12 schools, higher education, mental health programs and specific programs for training health care professionals in southwest Missouri.  Nixon released the money Thursday, one day after Republican lawmakers failed to override his veto of a controversial tax cut bill.

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Amid the continued battle over the fate of a vetoed tax-cut bill, Missouri state government’s latest income numbers show continued growth – but below the projected amount needed to match this fiscal year’s budget.

The state budget office also is continuing to discourage talk about any “surplus.”

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Amid a high-profile battle over tax cuts, Missouri state government has seen its first monthly income decline in well over a year – with July collections down almost 5 percent, compared to a year ago.

But state Budget Director Linda Luebbering cautions that the facts behind the numbers aren’t as dire as they may appear.

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