JEFFERSON CITY, MO (STL.News) Missouri State Senator Lincoln Hough, R-Springfield, issued the following statement regarding the Missouri Senate passage of the state’s operating budget for Fiscal Year 2021, which will begin on July 1, 2020:
“The recent effects of COVID-19 on Missouri are unprecedented. The Missouri General Assembly has one constitutional duty: pass a balanced budget by May 8 of this year, and we are committed to meeting this obligation. Over the past week, the Missouri Senate Appropriations Committee has worked tirelessly to create a budget that efficiently and effectively funds state government and continues to provide important services to our state’s most vulnerable citizens — without raising taxes.
“As vice-chair of the Missouri Senate Appropriations Committee, my job is to make sure the state spends taxpayer dollars in a fiscally responsible manner. Outside of paying our state’s debts, I believe the education of our citizens is our No. 1 priority. In this budget, the Missouri Senate voted to fully fund the K-12 Education Foundation Formula. The Missouri Senate’s budget also includes funding to continue to move forward with a virtual school curriculum, which is a benefit to everyone as we proceed and learn from our current Covid-19 situation.
“While the virus has certainly had an effect on the state’s bottom line, I believe it is critical that we do everything possible to adequately fund our state’s colleges and universities. As we work to restart the economy, our community colleges, universities and training centers will play an important role in the retraining and certifying of workers to meet the job needs of our state’s businesses and manufacturers. These institutions are vital to our state’s success, and I am committed to making sure they have the funds needed to continue to train and prepare Missourians to enter or re-enter the workforce during the upcoming year.”
House Bill 2003 funds the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development. For FY 2021, the Missouri Senate recommends $1,622,356,890 in funding for HB 2003, which includes $191,427,352 for community colleges and $125,334,747 for Missouri State University.