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The Missouri Budget Process

April 10, 2012

Higher Education students and faculty were devastated when Governor Nixon proposed a 12.5 percent funding cut during his State of the State Address in January. Things changed after Missouri won a mortgage settlement against the federal government, freeing up an additional $40 million for higher education.

Then House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Ryan Silvey came under fire for supporting a version of the budget that took $30 million from social health services (including aid to Missouri’s blind communities) and directing it back into higher education. The House Floor approved this version, and sent it to the Senate for consideration. Many senators and Governor Nixon strongly oppose these social health cuts, and at least one senator has threatened to filibuster debate on the House’s approved budget.

The General Assembly has to travel a long road in political compromising by the budget’s May 11th deadline…

Things to Keep in Mind About Missouri’s Budget:

Missouri has unique mandates and situational circumstances that both complicate and define our budgeting process for the state level…

  • Missouri’s constitution includes a Balanced Budget Amendment. This means that the state of Missouri will not pass a budget which will spend more revenue than is actually available, thus preventing a budget deficit.
  • The Hancock Amendment is a tax and expenditure limitation that prevents the state from collecting more than 5.6 percent of an individual’s income tax. As of this year, income taxes collected are $4 billion below the constitutional threshold, or, 17 percent of the state’s $23 billion budget.
  • The school funding formula, the Foundation Formula, is defined by a constitutional mandate that at least 25 percent of budgeting revenues be directed to K-12 education each fiscal year. As of 2011, the K-12 fund received the largest portion of our state’s budget- 36 percent.
  • Some social service programs are federally mandated, and ever-exanding, as more and more Missourians enroll. Missouri’s social programsreceive the second largest portion of our budget- 29 percent. Federal modies can also be revoked if the state does not fund programs at mandated levels, just another way that legislators hands are tied during the appropriations process.
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  1. ASUM’s Corbin Evans Speaks at Community Budget Event at ASUMissouri

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