Rep. Francis: House adopts responsible budget

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We gave our approval to the appropriations bills that make up the Fiscal Year 2022 State Operating Budget of $32 billion. We once again prioritized funding for K-12 education. The budget makes a record investment in K-12 education as it once again fully funds the School Foundation Formula.
We voted against expansion of Medicaid “for able bodied adults, many who choose not to work.” By rejecting expansion, the House “can now prioritize other programs for funding increases that will make a tremendous impact across the state.”
Recently filed legislation makes use of the funds saved by rejecting the expansion of Medicaid. We will use these funds to support seniors in nursing homes and to provide care for the developmentally disabled.
It will also expand mental health programs, add public defenders to the criminal justice system, and boost K-12 school transportation funding. In short, this bill will support the most vulnerable Missourians. The House is expected to take up the bill for consideration in the weeks ahead.
Highlights of the FY 2022 budget include:
• $70 million increase for adoption and foster care
• $7.3 million increase in federal funds to help meet needs in K-12 schools
• $3 million for a Rural Advising Program to help high school students and counselors in rural areas with college entry
• $2.5 million for increased transportation costs for school districts
• $2.5 million to boost reading literacy in the St. Louis area
• $2.1 million in new funding for Parents As Teachers
• $67.5 million in restored funding for four-year public institutions that was previously lost due to the pandemic
• Increases to all four of the state’s primary scholarship programs: A+, Bright Flight, Access Missouri, and Fast Track
• $3 million funding increase for Missouri’s 12 community colleges
• $500,000 in new funds for the Delta Research Center (New Madrid)
• $325,000 to support the MU Veterans Law Clinic that provides legal assistance to military veterans
• $1.6 million for improvements to weigh stations across the state
• $300,000 to help state agencies mitigate with black vulture mitigation
• As much as $10 million from the sale of medical marijuana to help support the state’s Veterans Homes Program
• $4.6 million for various improvements to Missouri’s veteran homes
• $5.3 million for “Raise the Age” for the Division of Youth Services to provide services for children age seventeen who are engaged in the criminal justice system
• $671,714 in funds to convert Crossroads Correctional Center into a training academy for incoming correctional officers
• $21.3 million in new funding to increase salaries and retain corrections officers
• $14 million in new funding for the Aid to Counties program (prisoner per diem)
• $2.5 million for a recidivism reduction program that works with recently released prisoners
• $134.1 million in federal stimulus funds for the Department of Health and Senior Services to continue coronavirus mitigation efforts
• $146.7 million in total funds to increase reimbursement to those providers who take care of Missouri’s developmentally disabled population.
The appropriations bills now move to the Senate for consideration. The two chambers will need to agree on a final version of the state spending plan by May 7, which is the constitutional deadline for budget approval.
Rick Francis (R-Perryville)represents District 145 in the Missouri. The area includes Perry, Madison and Bollinger County. If you have any questions regarding any state matters or legislation, please don’t hesitate to contact email him at Rick.Francis@house.mo.gov or call 573-751-5912.

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