May 1, 2023 2 min read

I-70, child care among business priorities included in Senate budget

The Missouri Senate has passed a spending plan which includes funding for many key business priorities backed by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, including money to expand I-70, improve public safety, enhance economic development opportunities and increase child care subsidy rates. The transformational $2.8 billion investment in I-70 will expand the highway to three lanes across the state, maximizing Missouri’s potential to be a global logistics hub.

Legislators passed the budget bills – which total nearly $50 billion – during the early morning hours of Wednesday, April 26.

Notably, lawmakers also shut down efforts to ban state government spending on staff, vendors, consultants and programs associated with diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). Anti-DEI language – named one of the top job-killing business mandates by the Missouri Chamber – was proposed by Sen. Denny Hoskins (R-Warrensburg), but the amendment was voted down 14-18.

The House passed its version of the budget in March. Representatives from each of the two chambers will now meet to reach a compromise before the final budget is sent to Gov. Mike Parson by May 5.

Some of the pro-business highlights from the Senate budget include:


  • Fully funding the Missouri Foundation Formula
  • Expanding access to pre-kindergarten programs – $81M
  • Providing a baseline teacher salary of $38,000 – $29M
  • Continued funding for computer science education – $450,000
  • Expanding youth apprenticeship programs – $495,000
  • STEM curriculum grants targeting at-risk middle school students – $5M
  • Increasing the child care subsidy rate to the 58th percentile – $283M

Higher Education & Workforce Development

  • A 7% increase in funding for all higher education institutions
  • Continued funding for the Fast Track Workforce Incentive Grant program – $4.7M
  • Tuition discount program for veterans – $600,000
  • LaunchCode job training and apprenticeship placement – $750,000
  • Registered apprenticeships promotion and expansion – $3M
  • Geospatial training program for high school students – $3M


  • Expanding I-70 to three lanes in each direction statewide – $2.8B total
  • Transportation cost-share program for road and bridge expenditures – $91M
  • Environmental impact study on I-44 – $20M
  • Highway 63 environmental impact study – $5M
  • Advanced Industrial Manufacturing Zone funding for port authorities – $2M
  • Funding for two daily Amtrak trains – $14.5M
  • Improving railroad crossing safety – $53M
  • Port authority grants and projects – $39M
  • Freight enhancement connector program – $3M


  • World Cup stadium improvements, construction and marketing – $52M

Natural Resources

  • Funding for the Rock Island Trail – $1.3M

Economic Development

  • On-shoring of active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) and semiconductor manufacturing ­– $15M 
  • Tourism funding – $23M
  • Creation of a Cortex-led cybersecurity statewide training program – $7M 
  • Restored funding for Missouri Partnership – $3.5M
  • Matching funds for any CHIPS Act awards – $60M
  • Funding for Missouri One Start job training program – $27M
  • Study to demonstrate Missouri’s role in critical mineral mining and generation of battery-ready materials – $16M
  • Broadband expansion and deployment – $275M
  • National Security Crossroads initiative – $500,000
  • Nursing program grants – $10M

Public Safety

  • Improving violent crime data reporting – $500,000
  • New 24/7 child care program for law enforcement officers in St. Louis – $3M
  • Urban policing program at Harris-Stowe University – $500,000
  • Minority police officer recruitment and retention program – $150,000
  • Construction of a new law enforcement training site – $6M


  • Funding for recidivism reduction program – $2.5M
  • Creation of a pilot program providing interviewing, coaching and on-boarding assistance for inmates and second chance employers – $400,000
  • Training in computer coding for inmates – $500,000


  • Significant funding for a wide variety of behavioral health and substance abuse treatment programs
  • Multiple hospital and health care center improvement and modernization projects – $11.1M


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