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.
Members of a Missouri House interim committee tasked with improving government efficiency complained Wednesday about not having access to the full budgets of any of the state's universities.
The committee was examining the Department of Higher Education. Republican committee member Kathie Conway of St. Charles says the department's annual budget requests to the Governor's office do not contain line-by-line expense requests she says the committee needs to do its job.
Two days of hearings are underway by an interim House committee looking into how well state agencies in Missouri are delivering services to their clients.
The hearings began with a critique of the Missouri Department of Social Services. Dan Amsden with the group Spending Oversight Council testified that DSS officials are doing a poor job of preventing non-eligible people from receiving welfare benefits, and of tracking those who no longer need them.
“We can’t afford it…it’s not rocket science," Allen said. "If we expand, taking federal dollars now, which I do not believe would not use some state (general revenue), even with what we’re told the feds would do now, there will be a time (when) the feds will back off.”
The Interim Committee on Government Bidding and Contracting may also be used to recommend new legislation for next year’s regular session. State Representative Sue Allen (R, Town and Country) will chair the committee. She says last year’s controversy surrounding former Medicaid contractor SynCare LLC played a part in the committee’s creation.