Today marks the end of a very productive legislative session! The regular session came to a close tonight with the General Assembly giving final passage to more than 145 bills. The number represents an increase from the previous session when the legislature pushed 76 bills across the legislative finish line.
The bills approved this year make substantive improvements for the people of Missouri by lowering taxes for working families, cutting bureaucratic red tape, providing expanded educational opportunities to young people, supporting the state’s veterans, and protecting victims of human trafficking and domestic abuse.
Also, as I have mentioned previously, the provisions of my HB 1503, which provides small business loans for veterans, became one of the first bills to be Truly Agreed and Finally Passed this year. HB 1503 was amended to SB 573, sent back to the Senate with five other amendments, and then TAFP’d. Meanwhile, my original bill, HB 1503, continued to move through the legislative process and, as of today, has been Truly Agreed to and Finally Passed! Also, my Higher Education Civics Enhancement Act passed as an amendment on SB 807. I call it a good session!
Fiscally Responsible State Spending Plan with a Record Investment in Education
In addition to the policy initiatives adopted by the General Assembly, one of the biggest accomplishments of the 2018 session is a fiscally responsible state spending plan that makes a record level of investment in K-12 education. The spending plan approved by lawmakers fully funds the Foundation Formula for two consecutive years for the first time in state history. The spending plan also reverses cuts to higher education proposed by the governor. The restored funding is part of an agreement with the state’s colleges and universities that will keep tuition increases in check so that higher education remains affordable for Missouri families.
The fiscally responsible $28.3 billion spending plan approved by the legislature also holds welfare spending in check, and includes a budget reserve of $100 million to allow for emergency spending needs. Additionally, the budget approved by the House and Senate increases the level of transparency and accountability for the use of taxpayer dollars. The budget plan breaks down spending for the state’s legal expense fund, and improves transparency for spending within the state’s conservation department, as well for dollars allocated to home-delivered meals.
2018 Legislative Accomplishments Highlights