JEFFERSON CITY, MO (KMIZ)
Jefferson City lawmakers have a week to decide how they want to spend $2.7 billion in federal funding in the 2023 state budget.
The Senate Appropriations Committee will meet at 2 p.m. Monday to consider some final budget bills before the May 6 deadline. American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds are on the agenda. Senators on both sides of the aisle said getting the budget together before the deadline was the top priority.
Appropriations Chairman Sen. Dan Hegeman (R-Andrew) said the committee wants to perfect some final budget bills on Monday and possibly Tuesday before conferring with the House of Representatives to create a final budget.
“We still have some committee work to do on some of the capital budgets, the larger budget, so we’re hoping to do some of that,” Hegeman said.
ARPA funds are intended to be used for pandemic recovery projects. Missouri received more than $5 billion split between state government, city governments, and local jurisdictions.
Missouri’s budget proposal highlighted some uses of ARPA funds: Medicaid expansion, education, child care, and emergency relief funds.
In his State of the State Address in January, Gov. Mike Parson said his priorities for ARPA funds were workforce development and education.
Sen. Brian Williams (D-St. Louis), who serves on the appropriations committee, said the Democratic Party’s top priority right now is getting ARPA funds to those who need them.
“I think the priority right now is just getting the budget done,” Williams said. “To do that and funnel that money to various parts of the state for people who need it to finally recover from COVID.”