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Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017

Capitol Report: Response to governor's budget proposals

Posted Thursday, January 31, 2013, at 12:07 PM

This week the governor presented his budget proposals in his State of the State address. Requests for many worthwhile programs were presented, but the source of funding is questionable.

Some of the increases include:

--An additional $18 million for Early Childhood Education
--Over $108 million for K-12 education
--$34 million for Higher Education
--An additional $1 million for A+ scholarships
--$6 million for tourism
--$3.9 million for ports and transportation
--$7 million for the arts
--$27.5 million for a 2 percent salary increase for state employees.

Again, many worthy causes, but the problem is paying for the increases.

The governor's additional money in the budget is based on four pieces of legislation that have not passed the General Assembly. Three of the four would amount to tax increases; the other is calculated on money from the federal government to expand Medicaid. In all, the governor still leaves a gap of $1.58 billion after all is said and done.

This is the largest budget ever proposed for the state, and I am convinced that this approach is unworkable. Rosie scenarios in this economy are not realistic or fair to Missouri taxpayers. We need to be honest about what revenue is expected, and what can be paid out. Taxpayers are held in an unfair position if the proposed tax increases are passed. Programs are held in an unfair position if monies are promised that cannot be delivered. Even worse, I believe, is borrowing that money and pushing increasing bills onto future taxpayers.

The Medicaid expansion as proposed by the governor would not be money paid in by Missouri taxpayers and then paid back to us. This scenario is bad enough in and of itself: it is sending our own tax money to Washington to have the federal government return it with all sorts of strings. Even worse is that a significant portion of this will be borrowed, and much of that borrowing comes from China. Our federal debt already exceeds $16.5 trillion. Do we really wish to push that mountain above $20 trillion? What kind of legacy does that leave for the next two or three generations? In fact, I fear we will not make it that far before we start feeling the adverse effects.

As your state representative and a member of the Education Appropriations Committee, I will work to be realistic about budgeting. I will also do my best to fairly divide that budget so that all students in Missouri will benefit and taxpayers will receive value for their tax dollars. No matter how these numbers are finally resolved, I will work to ensure that your dollars are being put to their best use.

Each week I will issue a capitol report to keep you informed of activities in Jefferson City. Any concerns or issues you might have are of great interest to me. I look forward to your input and thoughts, so please feel free to contact me at any time if you have questions, concerns, or ideas to improve our state government and the quality of life for all Missourians. My telephone number is 573-751-2204 or you may contact me be email at dean.dohrman@house.mo.gov.

Thank you for working with me to make Missouri a great place to live and work.


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-- Posted by Chevy on Wed, Jul 24, 2013, at 3:57 PM
Carlos Restrepo/Staff Writer
Please refrain from posting comments in all caps. Thank you.

Well it sounds like we have another tow the party line politician in which most of us are just growing very frustrated with this type of leadership.

What I would like to see is corporate welfare addressed! How about the fact that every walmart is costing taxpayer thousands by not paying their employees a living wage and leaving them reliant on state and federal aid.

What can we do to ensure profitable companies like wal mart pay our citizens a living wage, so taxpayers dont have to pick up the tab?

-- Posted by cheesehead on Mon, Feb 11, 2013, at 5:47 PM

For clarification, my Ph.D. field is political economy and I teach comparative economic systems, an upper-level course. My dissertation concerned national economic policies and resulting effects on local economic activity.

-- Posted by Dean Dohrman on Sat, Feb 9, 2013, at 5:30 PM

Mr. Dohrman,

As you are a member of the state house, not a federal official, how about you keep you focus on state business.

Your opinions of federal government spending are just that, opinions. As you have no control over that, nor were you elected to a federal post, how about leaving the GOP talking points out of your conversations with your constituients?

National economics are a little more complicated than "oh, oh, we are borrowing money from those evil communist chinese" there, chicken little.

I realize most local politicians dream about winning the GOP lottery and becoming another millionaire Koch or Addelson lackey Senator or Congressman in DC, but I, personally, will have more respect for you if you stick to trying to make Missouri a better place and leave the 'second guessing' of the federal government to folks who actually know something about monetary systems and capitalist macroeconomics.

I grow tired of hearing every Tom, Dick, and Harry think they have all the answers to our federal government woes and economic maladies and can sum it up in one paragraph (that would be your 6th paragraph above).

Guess what, government austerity is not the answer to everything. Also, your beloved GOP does not exactly have a good track record when it comes to fiscal responsibility or restraint, or solutions to societal problems.

-- Posted by countryman on Fri, Feb 1, 2013, at 8:08 AM

Missouri's Educational ranking is 48 out of 50 states. We are losing in the early grades. Funding for Early Childhood Education is a must if we care about our children and their education.

-- Posted by CWilli on Thu, Jan 31, 2013, at 2:19 PM

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Rep. Dean Dohrman, a Republican, represents Johnson, Pettis, and Saline counties (District 51). He was elected to his first two-year term in November 2012. In addition to his legislative duties, Rep. Dohrman is an online professor. Rep. Dohrman is a member of Warrensburg and Sedalia Area Chamber of Commerce, and Sedalia Lions Club. He attends Wesley United Methodist Church. A graduate of LaMonte High, Rep. Dohrman earned his PhD from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 2004. Born in Warrensburg, Rep. Dohrman currently lives in LaMonte.
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