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Missouri Governor Releases All Budget Funds Previously Withheld At Height Of Pandemic

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Office of Missouri Governor
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson is restoring all funding previously withheld from the general revenue budget for 2021 because of the coronavirus.

In total, nearly 150 areas across the state’s government agencies saw a reduction in their budgets, but with Monday's announcement, all funding is restored.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson announced Monday he will release the remaining $280.7 million he withheld from general revenue spending at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Thanks to our balanced approach to COVID-19, Missouri is in a much better position than what was originally projected,” Parson said in a statement. “Our economy continues to come back strong, and we’re pleased to be able to release the remainder of these funds today.”

When Parson made the decision to restrict roughly $448 million in planned spending, the state was projected to reach an unemployment rate of just under 17%. Missouri now has an unemployment rate of just under 6%, Parson said.

The area hit hardest was K-12 education funding, which saw $123 million withheld from the foundation formula. Higher education saw a $27.9 million reduction, and community colleges had $18.4 million cut.

“Since I became governor, we spent more on public education than we have in the state’s history before this COVID-19 hit,” Parson said in June when he announced the withholding of funding. “I just believe in the future if we work hard, we get the economy back going, we’ll get those education dollars back in there so we can move this state forward.”

With Monday's announcement, the foundation formula is fully restored, along with other department spending.

In total, nearly 150 areas across the state’s government agencies saw a reduction in their budgets. Higher Education & Workforce Development, Health and Senior Services and the Department of Revenue are among the others that received funding.

For a full breakdown of the funding and the departments, click here.
Copyright 2021 St. Louis Public Radio.

Jaclyn Driscoll is the Jefferson City statehouse reporter for St. Louis Public Radio. She joined the politics team in 2019 after spending two years at the Springfield, Illinois NPR affiliate. Jaclyn covered a variety of issues at the statehouse for all of Illinois' public radio stations, but focused primarily on public health and agriculture related policy. Before joining public radio, Jaclyn reported for a couple television stations in Illinois and Iowa as a general assignment reporter.
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