MO Gov. Greitens announces budget recommendations

MISSOURI (KFVS) - Missouri Governor Eric Greitens released his budget recommendations for the 2019 fiscal year on Monday, January 22.

Greitens spoke at 4 p.m. in the Governor's Office at the state Capitol.

The budget proposal includes increases in funding for infrastructure, education, public safety and programs meant to protect Missouri's children. This is funded by reductions in spending on higher education institutions, efficiencies in Medicaid spending and other smaller reductions in government spending.

Included in the Governor's proposals are: $87 million increase in funding for kindergarten through 12th grade education, $162.8 million increase in funding for roads and bridges, $25 million for a jobs and infrastructure fund to pay for key infrastructure projects expected to attract jobs and more than $29 million in new funding for programs that assist Missouri's children.

The 2019 budget increases pay for teachers in state-run schools and sends more money to elementary, middle and high schools. The budget adds an additional $87.5 million over 2016 for total funding of $6.1 billion, which is a record high level of support for Missouri elementary and secondary education.

"We've had to make tough choices this year," he said, "And while we're increasing funding for elementary and secondary education by $87 million, higher education will see a $7.7 million reduction."

The governor proposed $3.3 million in funding to care for children who have been abused or neglected and removed from their homes, including services for children with emotional and psychological difficulties.

He proposed $162.8 million in new funding to develop Missouri's infrastructure by constructing and maintaining the state road and bridge system and $7.6 million in new funding to modernize river ports statewide for transporting Missouri goods. This funding is expected to help Missouri's farmers by opening up new markets for agricultural products.

The budget included $2.5 million in new funding for invasive species and disease monitoring and control to ensure that native wildlife, farms, landscapes and waterways are protected.

He proposed $3.2 million in new funding for pay increases for members of the Missouri State Highway Patrol and $3 million to expand the highway patrol's crime lab.

The Governor recommended some of the following reductions:

  • $68,171,255 from the higher education institutions
  • $345,254 from the Department of Revenue, Division of Highway Collection through a reduction in field and other administrative staff
  • $42,700 from the Department of Revenue, Division of Legal Services through reduced administrative expenses
  • $500,000 from the Missouri Department of Transportation's Amtrak passenger rail state match; twice daily train service will continue
  • $30,000 in unused funds from the Office of Administration's teacher retirement contributions

You can click here to read the entire budget summary.

Gov. Grietens did not directly answer reporters' questions over whether allegations were true that he took a nude photo of the woman with whom he had an affair. He has previously denied those allegations.

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