Governor Jay Nixon delivered his State of the State Address to a Joint Session of the House and Senate. This annual speech outlining the governor’s legislative and budgetary priorities is mandated by the Missouri Constitution. The governor spoke for about 45 minutes and covered topics ranging from Medicaid expansion to lengthening the school year.
The House and Senate typically begin working on their versions of the state budget following the State of the State Address. While the appropriations bills begin in the House, the Senate starts work on its version as well in order to make sure it is on the governor’s desk before the constitutionally mandated deadline.
The work schedule of the Senate Appropriations Committee took on additional significance for me this week when I was named to serve on the committee. While the hours are long, I am glad to be on the committee, as it will give our area a say on how our tax dollars are spent. Prior to my appointment, there were no senators from Southwest Missouri on the panel.
The first Appropriations Committee meeting I attended this week was to listen to a briefing by Governor Nixon’s Budget Director about his proposed budget. With the economy showing small signs of strength, state revenue is expected to increase 3.7% for the coming fiscal year. The budget Governor Nixon is proposing relies on approximately $165 million that is dependent on legislation passing the Legislature this session. It may be risky spending money whose existence depends on the actions of the General Assembly. The committee is scheduled to meet four days a week for the near future.
Visitors to my office this week included Dick and Carolyn Sanford with the Benton County American Legion, Greg Johns from Sedalia, Charles Delaney from Stockton, Chuck and Charles Marshall from Sedalia, and Paul Derks and Aliah Clair from Warsaw. Also visiting were Dr. Lane Nutt and Dr. Wes Kemp of Bolivar and Dr. Mike Frier and his wife, Cathy, from El Dorado Springs. The Missouri Cattlemen’s Association was also in town this week. Members visiting the office were; Pat and Patty Wood from LaMonte, Marvin Dieckman from Cole Camp, and Keith Stevens from Bolivar.
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‘Nothing is Politically Right Which is Morally Wrong’
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