Capitol Report: Representative Patricia Pike
State Operating Budget Signed Into Law
Throughout the 2018 session, Missouri State Representative Patricia Pike has periodically shared the progress of legislation relating to the upcoming state operating budget. With the Missouri State Governor’s signature, the appropriations bills that make up the Fiscal Year 2019 State Operating Budget officially became law and took effect when the new fiscal year began on July 1st. In total, the bills make up a $28.6 billion budget that makes a record investment in K-12 education and stabilizes funding for Missouri’s institutions of higher learning. Some of the highlights of the state spending plan include:
- Full funding for the School Foundation Formula for the second consecutive year for the first time in Missouri’s history. Lawmakers approved a $99 million funding increase for K-12 public schools, while also increasing funding for school transportation by more than $10 million.
- Reversal of a recommended cut of $68 million for higher education funding in conjunction with a deal that will prevent excessive tuition increases at thestate’s universities and colleges.
- Funding increases for the state’s scholarship programs, which include a $2 million increase for Access Missouri, $3.5 million in additional funds for the A+ Scholarship Program, and an additional $1 million for Bright Flight.
- $1.8 million increase in funding for the state’s independent living centers, which help people with disabilities to increase their independence and their opportunity to participate in day-to-day life within their communities.
- $4 million in state support for Missouri’s Access to Recovery Program and Peer Support, which helps individuals and families struggling with substance use disorders and provides the tools needed for long-term recovery.
- $8.5 million increase in funding for the First Steps Programthat provides services to families with children, birth to three years of age, with disabilities or developmental delays.
- $4.75 million increase over the governor’s recommendation for tourism funding and grants ($14.75 million total).
While the governor signed the majority of the legislature’s budget priorities into law, he also used his line-item veto authority to strike several appropriations from the spending plan. In total he issued 21 line-item vetoes totaling more than $12 million. With the vetoed appropriations, lawmakers will have the option to consider veto overrides during the annual Veto Session in September. An override requires a two-thirds vote in each chamber of the legislature and would reauthorize the vetoed spending line.
HB 1288: Schoolchildren Health, Hunger and Hygiene Tax Credit is designed to reauthorize several benevolent tax credits, including a provision that is designed specifically to benefit schoolchildren. HB 1288, which was recently signed into law by the Missouri State Governor, offers an incentive for financial contributions to organizations that provide funding for unmet health, hunger, and hygiene needs of children in school.
The legislation approved by the General Assembly allows taxpayers to receive a credit against their taxes in an amount equal to 50 percent of the amount of the eligible donation. The program will be administered like the state’s other benevolent tax credit programs, such as those benefiting maternity homes and pregnancy resource centers. Once a donation is received, the provider organization will submit an application on behalf of the taxpayer to the Missouri Department of Social Services for approval of a tax credit.
In addition to creating the Schoolchildren Health, Hunger and Hygiene Tax Credit, HB 1288 modifies the Champion for Children Tax Credit, extends the sunset and raises the cap on Maternity Homes and Pregnancy Resource Centers Tax Credits, extends and expands the Donated Food Tax Credit, and creates the Diaper Bank Tax Credit.