Gov. Jay Nixon has restricted $51 million in spending for Medicaid and excess bond authority, while making available nearly $4 million for schools, law enforcement, higher education, and mental health for the current fiscal year budget.
“As Governor, I have kept Missouri’s budget in balance by restricting more than $2.2 billion in spending authorized by the General Assembly,” Nixon said at his Capitol office. “This has allowed us to make record investments in priority areas such as public schools, higher education, mental health and law enforcement. As a result of our fiscal discipline and economic growth, I am pleased to take action today to further strengthen those priority areas, while leaving a balanced budget for the next administration.”
To keep the FY2017 budget balanced, the Governor restricted $42.8 million in Medicaid spending, savings that were achieved because of lower program costs his administration has implemented. He also said that because of the state’s continued spotless AAA credit rating which keeps borrowing costs lower, he has restricted $8.8 million in excess bonding authority. Together with restrictions made in July and September to balance the budget, $201 million in spending authorized by the General Assembly has been restricted for the current fiscal year.
Nixon says there are several indicators that Missouri’s economy continues its growth, including:
– A record number of Missourians who are employed (2,838,500);
– Missouri has been ranked number one in small business creation;
– Missouri exports are on pace to top the $14 billion record of 2014; and
– The November Business Conditions Report shows Missouri is leading its nine-state region in manufacturing growth.
The Governor also made funding available for several programs:
· $1.875 million to complete renovations at Missouri State University’s Glass Hall, which houses the university’s College of Business. This project includes a complete renovation and expansion of this facility, with a 37,000 square-foot addition that will include a modern facility with work rooms, an advising center and a career center. This funding is the final component for completion of $5 million in renovations at Glass Hall, and $24 million total at Missouri State.
· $1 million for K-12 transportation;
· $181,875 for Missouri S&T Clay County Engineering Program;
· $500,000 for the Missouri Highway Patrol to replace lost federal funding; and
· $400,000 to expand an emergency room diversion initiative.
Nixon says his emphasis on fiscal responsibility and maintaining a balanced budget has helped to strengthen and grow Missouri’s economy. He points out that the most recent jobs report showed Missouri gained 50,900 jobs over the past 12 months and that 2,838,500 Missourians are now employed.
He says Missouri has also paid down hundreds of millions of dollars in state debt during his administration.