From Rep. Darin Chappell
Today, we passed the budget for the State of Missouri. It’s balanced, the education foundation formula is fully funded, school transportation is fully funded, and libraries are fully funded. Higher education, Social Services, and a full I-70 renovation are all funded at rates higher than what the Governor requested. The budget total approaches $51 Billion.
We sent a trimmer budget to the Senate with a total of approximately $48 Billion, but the Senate spent an extra $3 Billion, sent the bills over to us, and adjourned. Even if we could have looked it all over and possibly wanted to cut back on that excess (we had less than an hour left to us, when it was all funished), we could not have done so, because the Senate went home. Some Senators certainly wanted to work in good faith to make the budget leaner, but not the majority of them.
It frustrates me, because I am convinced there are still billions of appropriations we could have, and should have taken off the table. We still have no real legislative oversight over departmental spending, and we do not have a way to bring spending to heel with current attitudes being present.
However, given no other options, you do what you must. The Constitution required that we have the budget finished today by 6pm. We did. I voted as best I could, given the $1.2 Billion I tried to cut, and $93 Million I was actually able to get taken out.
Am I happy? Nope. Am I satisfied? Not at all. Am I starting on next year’s budget two weeks from Monday? You better believe it!