This week was a huge week in the budget process. After the Senate and the House budget committees met in a conference committee, the budget was taken to the floor of both chambers and finally passed and truly agreed upon, meaning the budget is almost finished.
The conference committee for the budget met on Monday this week, and it was composed of five Senators and five Representatives. This is everyone’s last chance to make changes to the budget and it’s the time when the different priorities between the Senate and the House take the lime light. There is always a lot of discussion around these differences, and this year, the conference committee stayed late into the night, going on until about 11:00 pm.
By the end of the conference committee, the budget was finally made, and we were successful in funding some key programs.
We were able to fully fund the K-12 education formula, which is a historical precedent. Last year was the first time this had ever happened, and so doing it for a second year in a row is a big achievement.
In addition to this, we were also able to secure $10 million more in funding for K-12 transportation.
In working with the Chair of the House Budget Committee, I was also able secure an addition $82 million in funding for new road and bridge projects, which will go in all over the state and help build our infrastructure.
I also secured $700,000 for funding an Autism Clinic being sponsored by Truman State University in Kirksville.
We were also able to get $275,000 for the Greenly Research Farm to continue their research on cutting edge agricultural developments.
A large issue in Missouri is our water infrastructure, which is severely lacking in many parts of Missouri. In order to combat this, we secured $3.75 million in funding to the Multipurpose Water Resource Program, which is a fund that gives grants to projects that build water infrastructure. This will ensure that this issue does not arise in the future, and it will be used immediately to fund the building of the East Locust Creek Reservoir Project, which will be located 5 miles north of Milan.
In addition to this, we secured higher funding for the Missouri Mainstreet Program. This program works to revitalize downtown areas of rural towns in Missouri and it is a proven success story, leading to economic development for smaller towns.
In addition to this, we were able to secure higher funding for tourism. These programs have a proven return of 300%. Each dollar we put in brings in three more dollars in economic development.
We were also able to secure a funding increase for the Department of Agriculture in order to carry out their fundamental services such as the weights, measures and consumer protection programs and their Agriculture and Small Business Development Programs.
We were also able to secure funding for paying off the biodiesel debt owed to soybean farmers and ethanol developers.
After the conference committee, the budget went to the House floor where I presided over debate on my departments of the budget. The budget then went to the Senate, and will now go to the Governor.
Our office intern Ben Terrell’s last week is this week, and he will be graduating this Saturday from Truman State University. I wanted to take a moment to thank him for all his hard work and to wish him luck in the real world
This week we had the Schuyler County R-1 5th grade class come visit the capitol. They had an awesome time touring the capitol, and it was finally warm enough outside for a class to take a trip to the fountain outside.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out! You can call my office at (573) 751-3644 or email us at
Craig.Redmon@house.mo.gov. If you are in the capitol building, feel free to come visit us! I am in office 317