Missouri lawmakers have two weeks to consider the 13 appropriations bills that will make up the state government budget in the upcoming fiscal year.


The House and Senate have some small differences to compromise on before the May 6 constitutional deadline, but lawmakers seem to agree that funding education is a top priority. The state House of Representatives passed its budget bills at the end of March. The Missouri Senate recently sent those bills back with a few amendments. Plans for education funding passed the House by a 146-14 vote.


Missouri lawmakers have two weeks to consider the 13 appropriations bills that will make up the state government budget in the upcoming fiscal year.

The House and Senate have some small differences to compromise on before the May 6 constitutional deadline, but lawmakers seem to agree that funding education is a top priority. The state House of Representatives passed its budget bills at the end of March. The Missouri Senate recently sent those bills back with a few amendments. Plans for education funding passed the House by a 146-14 vote.

“Many times, in the seven years I have been in the legislature, several of these bills have been passed strictly on party line votes. That was not the case with a single one of these bills this year,” Rep. David Day, R-Dixon, said.

“Aside from the impressive bipartisan effort to pass this budget, the quality of the budget can be seen in the details. From maintaining funding for K-12 education, to continued funding for the production of alternative fuels, to taking the lead and cutting our own budget here, in the House of Representatives, by $365,000, this budget begins the march on the road to economic recovery for the state of Missouri,” Rep. Diane Franklin, R-Camdenton, said. Franklin is a member of the House Education Appropriations Committee.

Representatives cut budgets of statewide officials by 5 percent. The House version of the education appropriations bill maintains current funding levels for public schools.

“The biggest highlight of the budget for the next fiscal year is the fact that we were able to keep funding for the education foundation formula whole. This ensures that despite a tough economic environment we are able to make investments in our future,” Day said.

The House education budget followed a recommendation from democrat Gov. Jay Nixon, and cut 7 percent of the state government’s allocation to public colleges and universities. In the opposite chamber, Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, explained that the Senate budget committee reassigned funds in other state departments to reduce the cut to higher education and keep the K-12 budget at just more than $3 billion.

“Through some of the work we have done, we have found $20 million in order to reduce that cut from the governor’s seven percent to 4.8 percent cut which would be equally applicable to the two-year and the four-year public institutions,” Schaefer said.

The Senate budget bill handler said he was glad to soften the blow to colleges and universities. The funding also put more money toward transportation funding in K-12 schools and funded the Parents as Teachers program.

“I think the extra $20 million appropriated to higher education and the $20 million more going toward K-12 transportation compared to the governor’s recommendations is the right way to go, as education is crucial to the future of this state,” Schaefer said.

The Senate also voted to maintain the school funding formula at its current level, accepting $189 million in federal budget stabilization dollars earmarked for education to help maintain current funding levels for the 2012 and 2013 fiscal years. The education bill passed the Senate by a 29-4 vote.

The House will consider adopting the Senate’s changes to the 13 budget bills this week. In some cases, conference committees will meet to ensure compromises by the May 6 deadline.

Contact Lake Sun reporter Rance Burger at rance.burger@lakesunonline.com.