JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)
Less than an hour before the constitutional deadline, the Missouri House of Representatives voted to pass the final budget bill for Fiscal Year 2024. All the bills now head to Gov. Mike Parson’s desk for approval.
None of the bills are final until the governor signs them, and he does have line item veto power over the budget.
This year’s $50 billion operating budget is about $1 billion more than the budget passed last year.
The Missouri House of Representatives began giving final approval to state budget bills Friday morning, with the 6 p.m. deadline looming.
Some notable items in these state budget bills that will impact Mid-Missouri include:
- $9.8 billion for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, including $7 million for teacher pay;
- 7% increase for public colleges and universities;
- $43 million for a new veterinary hospital and $25 million for a research slaughterhouse at the University of Missouri;
- $2.8 billion to add an extra lane to Interstate 70 all the way across the state;
- $5 million for an environmental study on Highway 63 from Cabool to Houston in anticipation of potential future projects;
- $4.5 million for public libraries across the state
Many of the governor’s priorities made it into the budget, including double his proposal for the expansion of Interstate 70. Appropriations Chair Sen. Lincoln Hough (R-Springfield) said construction on the interstate could see progress as soon as this fall or winter, although it will be many years before its finished.
“So I-70 is probably one of the more shovel ready projects in the state,” Hough said. “This is probably a six maybe seven year project, so maybe I should apologize upfront for the traffic, but I think the end result is going to be something that quite frankly will transform that artery across the state.”
Some of the more conservative Republicans did vote against the budget bills Friday because of the large price tags.
“Here’s what some of the Republicans in the chamber voted against today when they voted against those budget bills: raising teacher pay and making record investment in our classrooms, putting record dollars in our colleges and universities to prepare the workforce of the future, funding Missouri’s mental health system and programs for most vulnerable seniors,” Sen. John Rizzo (D-Kansas City) said.