The Missouri Senate Appropriations Committee finished marking up the FY 2023 budget it received from the House this week. In January, Governor Parson sent his recommended expenditures to the Missouri House for initial consideration. The House Budget Committee considered the governor’s recommendations and made their own choices as to how to allocate state revenues. The Senate Appropriations Committee considered the House version of the bill and then made changes based upon Senate priorities. Both chambers have allocated $300 million to renovations to the Capitol interior, hoping to use stimulus funds from the federal government to make much-needed repairs to the inside of the Capitol.
Passing a balanced budget is the one constitutional duty the Missouri General Assembly must fulfill each year. The governor as well as each chamber make their own choices on funding priorities. The House and Senate must then meet in a conference committee to settle their differences. There is a lot of horse-trading that occurs each year. For example, the House rejected the governor’s call to increase starting teacher salaries, choosing instead to fund a program called Career Ladder which would compensate teachers for extra duties they perform outside of the classroom. The Senate restored the starting teacher salary increases while also maintaining the Career Ladder funding, as well as increasing funding for public school transportation, which has been underfunded for years. The full Senate will begin deliberation on the budget bills on the floor next week before the bills will be sent to conference