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Missouri Senate Passes Budget

After a marathon voting session, the Missouri Senate passed its version of the state operating budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Thirteen appropriations bills comprise the budget for the 2023 Fiscal Year, which begins on July 1, 2022 and runs through June 30, 2023. The budget is often said to reflect the values and priorities of our state, and I believe the Senate’s budget does just that.

First and foremost, the Senate’s budget once again fully funds the Foundation Formula for our K-12 schools, ensuring our students have the resources they need to succeed in the classroom. I believe this shows Missouri’s continued commitment to providing our students with the best education possible. I’m also pleased to report that the Senate’s budget provides an additional $214 million in school transportation funding. This funding is incredibly important, especially in our rural districts, to make sure our children make it to and from school safely. When it comes to higher education, many colleges and universities across the state were able to receive a boost in funding under the Senate’s plan, including Lincoln University.

Meanwhile, the Senate’s budget continues to provide increased pay for many of our hardworking state employees, as well as includes an increased mileage reimbursement for when they use their own vehicles for state business needs. I believe steps such as these will help state worker pay stay competitive going forward. The Senate’s proposed budget also includes investments in important infrastructure needs. It includes more than $49 million for broadband internet expansion and an additional $100 million to maintain our state’s low-volume or lettered roads.

Now, it’s important to keep in mind this is only the Senate’s plan and the budget is not yet completely finalized. There are several differences between the House and Senate versions of the budgets, which will likely need to be worked out in conference committees before the May 6 constitutional deadline for the Legislature to pass a balanced operating budget. That said, I’m confident both chambers will be able to find a path forward and create a budget that best serves the needs of our great state.

As always, I am honored to serve the citizens of the 6th Senatorial District. Please feel free to contact my office at (573) 751-2076. For information about my committee assignments or sponsored legislation, please visit my official Missouri Senate website at senate.mo.gov/Bernskoetter.

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