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Missouri faces 'reality' of COVID-19's impact on state budget

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Posted at 4:22 PM, Jun 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-30 17:22:33-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said Tuesday that state revenue for fiscal year 2020 finished about 7% down from last year.

He said during a press briefing that the state had to “face the reality” of how COVID-19 has affected the economy and that he expects the yearly revenue to be about $1 billion less than what was forecasted in January.

Despite his administration “proactively” setting aside savings that included $100 million for FY20, Parson said the “downturn has wiped that out.”

The governor said they restricted $430 million in funding to balance the 2020 budget.

“If we had not done that, we would have had to restrict even more,” Parson said.

The K-12 Foundation Formula and higher education will receive the same amount of funding in FY20 and FY21, after the “fiscal restrictions” were put in place for FY20, according to Parson.

He also said he has been in contact with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, higher education and community colleges throughout the budget process.

Parts of workforce development programs will remain in place, according to Parson, who said that his administration “spent more on public education than we ever have in the state’s history.”

State budget director Dan Haug said that in the 25 years he has worked on state budgets, “this is the most difficult” budget he has seen.

The state’s current unemployment rate – roughly 10% – is higher than during the Great Recession, when it was 9.8%.

Haug said that “almost all new spending” was removed from the budget, and expenses and spending were reduced “across the board.”

However, Parson said he remains hopeful that the economy will “bounce back quickly.”