Jefferson City In today’s press briefing, Governor Mike Parson announced $180 million in expenditure restrictions to ensure a balanced state budget and the necessary funds to combat COVID-19 going forward.
Governor Parson was joined by State Budget Director Dan Haug at the briefing.
“Up until this point in my administration, we have been very fortunate to have a booming economy with record low unemployment and high wage growth. Incomes have gone up, and taxes have gone down,” Governor Parson said. “We have, at many times, had more jobs available than people to fill them. Because of this, we have been able to focus on skilling-up our workforce and making necessary investments in infrastructure.”
Governor Parson and his administration have also been able to put forward responsible and conservative budgets to the General Assembly. Last year, the state budget left $100 million on the bottom line in order to respond to any unexpected revenue declines. Governor Parson also proposed to do the same for next year, ensuring another year of responsible state budgeting and savings.
However, COVID-19 has had serious impacts on anticipated economic growth, and the state is now expecting significant revenue declines.
“The impact of COVID-19 has already been hard felt in our economy. More people are staying home, business operations have been limited, many people have lost their jobs, and state revenues are down,” Governor Parson said. “This has had a serious impact on our anticipated economic growth, so we’ve had to take a hard look at our budget and make some very difficult decisions.”
To ensure a balanced state budget and the necessary funds to combat COVID-19 going forward, Governor Parson is planning to restrict $180 million in spending. More may have to be restricted in the future depending on how extreme the economic impacts of COVID-19 become.
These restrictions include reduced funding for several state departments including the Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development, Department of Transportation, Office of Administration, Department of Natural Resources, and the Department of Economic Development, among others.
The Judiciary and Secretary of State have also worked to identify savings in their own budgets that are able to be restricted.
In addition to the $180 million in state budget restrictions, the Governor’s Office is hopeful for an additional $315 million in federal funding this year to help with the shortfall.
The Governor’s Office will continue to advocate to the White House and Congressional Delegation for federal funding to help reduce the economic impact of COVID-19 in Missouri.