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The State of Our StatePosted Friday, February 1, 2013, at 12:06 PM
This week, the governor addressed the legislature and the citizens of Missouri and offered his annual State of the State presentation. This speech typically outlines the governor's priorities for the legislative session, as well as his proposed budget for the next fiscal year. We are mandated to have a financially sound budget by this year's constitutional deadline of May 10.
As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I am always interested in the governor's budget proposals. Some of his ideas for Fiscal Year 2014 were a welcome change, while others need a further look.
I am in favor or adding additional funds to all levels of education. Even though the last few years have not seen the foundation formula fully funded, we have managed to keep our schools funding constant, therefore avoiding decreasing the money allotted to schools.
The governor is partly basing his budget on expanding Medicaid, adding 300,000 people to the Medicaid rolls. While many say federal funds will pay for the first few years of an expanded program, eventually the state will be required to pay an ever-increasing match. A reasonable question to ask is where is the federal government going to get this money?
Our federal government doesn't have that kind of money available to dole out to states, and, if they do, they are only borrowing it from our future.
Missourians have to live under a tight budget these days. Missouri's General Assembly takes on the responsibility of creating a budget using only funds we have available. Why should we expand a program under the guise of federal funding when we know that our government is overextending itself to make that promise? Those are discussions we will need to have before moving forward.
I have served on the Senate Appropriations Committee since coming to the Senate. It is my honor to serve on that committee and fight for the best interests of all Missourians. The only constitutional mandate of the General Assembly is that we pass a fiscally responsible budget before the deadline, and that is a goal we will meet.
The operating budget the governor proposes is higher than what we have had to work with since 2008, and yet we have to make sure there is a reliable source of income to fund our budget.
As always, please feel free to contact me or my staff with any questions or concerns at any time. We look forward to hearing your comments and suggestions and trying to answer any questions you may have. You can reach us by phone at 866-277-0882 (toll-free) or 573-751-2272, or by fax at 573-526-7381.
Senator David Pearce serves Caldwell, Carroll, Howard, Johnson, Lafayette, Livingston, Ray and Saline counties in the 21st State Senatorial District.
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Senator David Pearce, a Republican, represents District 21 in the Missouri Senate, which covers Caldwell, Carroll, Howard, Johnson, Lafayette, Livingston, Ray and Saline counties. Due to redistricting, he was elected to serve the 21st District in 2012, after serving a previous term in the Missouri Senate representing District 31 in November 2008 after completing three, two-year terms in the Missouri House of Representatives. Pearce serves as chairman of the Senate Education Committee, chairman of the Joint Committee on Education, and was chairman of the Educated Citizenry 2020 Committee. Pearce was appointed to serve on the Missouri Veterans Commission in August 2009 and continues to serve in that capacity. He was also reappointed to the Midwestern Higher Education Compact in September 2010, and was honored to serve again as an Executive Committee member. In addition, Pearce serves as a member of several Senate Committees: Appropriations; Financial and Governmental Organizations and Elections; and Agriculture, Food Production and Outdoor Resources. Capitol Office: 201 W Capitol Ave., Rm. 227 Jefferson City, Missouri 65101 (573) 751-2272 FAX: (573) 526-7381