May 10, 2024 2 min read

Workforce training, I-44 expansion among business priorities included in state budget

The Missouri General Assembly 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-44, build and retain a skilled workforce, and onshore high-tech manufacturing industries that are vital to national security.

Legislators passed the budget bills – which total $51.7 billion – just hours before the constitutional deadline of 6 p.m. on Friday, May 10.

The total budget is roughly one billion dollars less than Gov. Mike Parson’s recommendation.

Thanks to the Missouri Chamber’s advocacy efforts, employers will be able to tap into funding to help their workers earn new skills. The Department of Economic Development budget includes $3 million for the upskill credentials program – an important tool to build and retain a skilled workforce. The competitive grant program is designed to support employees who earn short-term certificates or credentials in vital areas for Missouri’s economy, such as cybersecurity, welding, HVAC repair, nursing and manufacturing technology.

The Missouri Chamber also led the push to secure $15 million to help bring more high-tech manufacturing to Missouri – specifically, the manufacturing of semiconductors and active pharmaceutical ingredients, or APIs. This state funding combats the public health and national security risk caused by an over-reliance on foreign-sourced products.

The budget bills now go to Gov. Parson for his signature.

Other pro-business highlights from the budget include:

K-12 Education

  • Fully funding the foundation and transportation formulas – $4.2B
  • Expanding access to pre-kindergarten programs – $81.9M
  • Providing a baseline teacher salary of $40,000 – $33.4M
  • STEM career awareness – $370,000
  • Computer science education – $450,000
  • Career and technical education programs – $80.1M
  • Youth apprenticeship programs – $611,000
  • WorkKeys job and career assessments – $2.5M

Higher Education & Workforce Development

  • A 3% increase in funding for all higher education institutions
  • MoExcels grant funding for colleges and universities – $54.4M
  • Funding for the Fast Track Workforce Incentive Grant program – $4.7M
  • Funding for the Certified Work Ready Communities program – $100,000
  • High school industry-recognized credentials program – $1.5M
  • Cost-free computer education training – $1M
  • Registered apprenticeship expansion – $3M
  • Technology updates to job centers – $1.2M
  • New engineering school at the University of Missouri–St. Louis– $25M
  • Construction of Missouri S&T’s new Missouri Protoplex Facility – $41.25M
  • Healthcare education alliance in Springfield– $15M
  • University of Missouri NextGen Precision Health – $20M


  • I-44 expansion – $727.5M
  • Environmental impact study on I-44 – $20M
  • I-70 expansion bond payments – $136M
  • Construction and repair of 215 bridges – $18.8M
  • Transportation cost-share program for road and bridge expenditures – $89.1M
  • Maintenance and repair of low volume roads – $100M
  • Funding for two daily Amtrak trains – $16M
  • Improving railroad crossing safety – $52M
  • Advanced Industrial Manufacturing Zones and Targeted Industrial Manufacturing Enhancement Zones – $3.1M
  • Port authority grants – $60.3M
  • Freight enhancement connector projects – $3.25M


  • World Cup planning and logistics – $17.5M

Economic Development

  • Creation of a Cortex-led tech job training program – $7M 
  • Funding for Missouri One Start community college training program – $27M
  • Funding for Missouri One Start new and expanding industry training – $17.6M
  • CHIPS Act project attraction – $10M
  • Business recruitment and marketing – $3.5M
  • Broadband expansion and deployment – $1.8B
  • Broadband cell towers – $20M
  • National Security Crossroads initiative – $549,000
  • Tourism funding – $25.5M
  • Local tourism grants – $23.6M
  • International flight attraction – $5M
  • Industrial Site Development Grant Program – $52.9M
  • Community Revitalization Grant Program – $87.7M

Public Safety/Corrections

  • Re-entry and job coaching programs for offenders – $7M
  • De-escalation training for public safety officers – $1M
  • Grants to public safety officers – $19.2M


  • Construction of an acute behavioral health unit – $25M
  • Construction of four new behavioral health crisis centers in high-need areas – $7.3M


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