Missouri’s budget for the next fiscal year has been passed by the State House. While Medicaid expansion has dominated most of the debate, spending hikes were approved in other areas.
The nearly $25 billion spending plan adds an extra $65 million for K-12 schools, although the spending hike still falls short of fully funding the state’s public school formula.
Republican Mike Lair of Livingston County chairs the Appropriations committee on Education.
“Maybe we don’t have as much money as you want to have, but we have enough money to do the things we have to do,” says Lair. “There will be a quality teacher in the room with the children, and education will take place.”
Fellow Democrat Margo McNeil of St. Louis County says there would have been more money available in the budget for Higher Ed if Medicaid had been expanded.
“That expansion has been refused by the majority party, and the opportunity to provide more scholarships and more funding for our great state institutions of higher education has been lost,” says McNeil.
House Democrats are still not satisfied that the state budget doesn’t include Medicaid expansion. They filed 20 new bills to expand Medicaid, doing so hours before the deadline to file new bills arrived.
The 13 budget bills are now in the hands of the Missouri Senate.