During the State of the State address earlier this month, Governor Parson laid out his budget recommendations for the next fiscal year. In the coming months, Missouri’s House of Representatives and Senate will be evaluating those recommendations while assembling and approving budgets of their own.
Missouri’s Constitution requires the state’s legislature to pass a balanced budget—meaning the government cannot budget to expend more funds than there are revenues. This requirement leaves our elected officials with difficult decisions each year, because the proposed budget increases for current state programs continue to outpace revenue collections. As lawmakers express concern regarding the revenue estimates assumed in the Governor’s budget recommendations, it is more important than ever to ensure that all state dollars are spent on worthy projects.
My new essay, “Missouri’s Budget: A Primer,” provides a step-by-step explanation of the state’s budgeting process and describes the measures available to elected officials when revenue collections exceed or fall behind the estimates used in the creation of the budget. The essay also includes two graphics that should make navigating the state’s budget more manageable. The first is a timeline outlining the budgeting process, and the second offers a list of topics to follow as the budget makes its way through the legislature.
Click the link below to read the entire essay.