2019 legislative session set to begin Jan. 9
The holiday season has come to a close and the members of the Missouri House and Senate are beginning the 2019 legislative session. The session, which started Wednesday, Jan. 9, marks the beginning of the 100th General Assembly. The House convened for session and is made up of 116 Republicans and 47 Democrats, although one Republican seat will become vacant when Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick resigned to become the new Missouri state treasurer.
The First General Assembly of the State of Missouri was held in September 1820 at the Missouri Hotel in St. Louis. In 1821, the assembly moved to St. Charles. It was this first assembly that established many basic state laws. Subject matter ranged from issues of land to trade to western settlement, and to slavery.
Legislature and governor agree on Consensus Revenue Estimate
The governor’s office recently came to an agreement with leaders in the legislature on the revenue estimate that budget makers will use to craft a balanced spending plan. Gov. Parson reached an agreement with House Budget Committee Chairman Scott Fitzpatrick and Senate Appropriations Chairman Dan Brown on the Consensus Revenue Estimate for Fiscal Year 2020, which begins in July of 2019.
Leaders project the state will see 2 percent growth for the upcoming fiscal year. This represents growth of $193 million over the estimated revenue for the current Fiscal Year 2019. If the growth prediction is accurate, Missouri will see revenue collections at an estimated $9.822 billion for Fiscal Year 2020. As Gov. Parson and the General Assembly move forward with crafting a fiscally responsible spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year, they will base their budgeting on the CRE.
Fitzpatrick said, “Budgets are based on projections. The best way to ensure a balanced budget is to use a conservative but realistic revenue estimate, which I feel is represented in this agreement. I appreciate Governor Parson and Senator Brown’s commitment to fiscal discipline as we enter a new budget cycle. As I exit the General Assembly and pass the torch to Rep. Smith, I am proud to say the state’s finances are on solid ground. I wish the new chairmen in the House and Senate well as they work to craft a balanced budget.”
Fitzpatrick will vacate his seat in the House and his position as House budget chairman to become the Missouri State Treasurer. State Rep. Cody Smith, who currently serves as vice chairman of the committee, will take over as chairman and oversee the budget crafting process in the House during the 2019 session.
Rep. Cody Smith announced as chairman of the House Budget Committee
Speaker of the House Elijah Haahr announced that the House Budget Committee chairman for the 100th General Assembly will be Rep. Cody Smith. Smith will replace Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick, who will be stepping down from the House to become the new State Treasurer.
“Rep. Smith has proven himself to be a true steward of Missourians’ hard-earned tax dollars and a leader in securitizing government spending,” said Speaker Haahr. “Having served the past months as the vice-chairman and preparing for the session, he is ready to tackle the complexities of the budget process and provide stability on the committee for years to come.”
The House Budget Committee is tasked with crafting and passing the state’s $28 billion operating budget that funds the critical functions of state government. The committee chairman also leads in negotiating differences between budgets proposed by the Governor and the Senate.
Haahr continued, “Passing a balanced budget is the most important responsibility of the Missouri General Assembly, and I am confident in Rep. Smith’s ability to ensure every tax dollar spent reflects the priorities of Missourians. Government must live within its means, and Rep. Smith will put conservative principles into action to protect from wasteful spending while not raising taxes.”
Smith is a small business owner and realtor with an extensive background in banking and finance. In November, he was elected to his second term in the House. He was appointed vice-chairman of the committee this past summer and has also served as the vice-chairman of the important Fiscal Review committee. There, Smith was instrumental in the thorough review of legislation being considered that would require the state to spend taxpayer money.
“I look forward to bringing my real world insight as a business owner to the Budget Committee,” said Rep. Smith. “I thank Speaker Haahr for this appointment and I am ready to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to guide the House in passing a responsible and balanced budget.”
It is an honor to serve the constituents in the 48th House District. As always, if we can ever be of any assistance to you at your State Capitol or you ever have questions, concerns, or input, do not hesitate to contact us at 573-751-0169 or you can reach my assistant, June, at email@example.com. If your plans bring you to Jefferson City at any time during the year, please feel free to visit my Capitol office room 317B.
I continue to pray daily for the Lord’s guidance in making decisions as your state representative. Please pray for me, the legislative body, and pray to preserve our freedoms.