Missouri Business Headlines

Legislature finalizes state budget; several key business priorities funded

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Missouri lawmakers have passed a $35.3 billion budget that invests in many key areas important to the business community. The legislation is now on the governor’s desk.

Below is an overview of budget allocations that will impact Missouri’s business climate.

Many of these allocations fund — or even boost funding for — items championed by the Missouri Chamber and recommended in the Missouri Chamber Foundation’s research. The Fast Track financial aid program, the Workforce Diploma initiative and ACT WorkKeys® expansion are all suggestions that were made in our 2019 Workforce2030 Report. In addition, the transportation items noted here were among recommendations listed in our Transportation2030 Report, released in 2020.

Higher Education and Workforce Development

  • Funds the Workforce Diploma program at $2 million. The Missouri Chamber has supported legislation for the past two years that establishes this workforce training/high school diploma program for adults.
  • Funds the MO Excels workforce training program at $21.8 million. The funding for this program facilitates the development and expansion of employer-driven workforce training programs at public colleges and universities.
  • Funds Fast Track at $5.7 million, nearly double the amount allocated last fiscal year. Fast Track is a financial aid program the Missouri Chamber helped pass in 2019. It addresses workforce needs by encouraging adults to pursue a certificate, degree, or industry-recognized credential in an area designated as high need and is designed to ensure that tuition and fees are fully covered when combined with other federal and state financial aid.
  • Funds a computer coding training program in Kansas City at $200,000.
  • Funds the expansion of the ACT WorkKeys® curriculum (Career Ready 101) to all 57 existing career tech ed centers in Missouri at $850,000. This total includes $750,000 of federal funds and $100,000 from General Revenue. WorkKeys assessments measure foundational skills required for success in the workplace as well as workplace skills that can affect job performance.
  • Enacts an across-the-board increase for community colleges and universities. A flat $10 million was allocated to community colleges, while the universities each received a 3.7% increase. State Tech received a flat $2 million increase.
  • Funding of the MU Precision Medicine Complex was set at $10 million.

 

Transportation

  • Funds TIME Zones at $500,000.TIME is the acronym for Targeted Industrial Manufacturing Enhancement Zones that are organized for infrastructure/economic development projects.
  • Allocates $25 million to the transportation cost-share program.
  • Funds a grant program for port authorities at $12.2 milliontotal, which will fund acquisition and construction.

Agriculture

  • Allocates $20 million from federal stimulus funds for meat processing facilities with fewer than 200 employees to address supply chain disruptions and mitigate COVID-19 impacts.

Economic Development/Labor

  • Allocates $3 million to Missouri Technology Corporation. This is an increase from $1 million last fiscal year.
  • Allocates $10 million of federal funding for rural broadband internet grants.
  • The total amount allocated to Tourism is in the range of $20 million. This includes a new allocation of $1.6 million from General Revenue.
  • Backfills the state’s share of overpayment of Unemployment Insurance claims at $48 million of federal funds.
  • Allocates $13 million of federal funding to update and upgrade Unemployment Insurance IT systems.

Health

  • Provides $50 million to offset potential losses from a new outpatient fee schedule for hospitals.
  • Allocates $184 million of federal funding to maintain in-person learning in schools via enhanced COVID testing processes and other COVID-related protocols.
  • The Medicaid expansion added by voters to the State Constitution, which the Missouri Chamber supported, was not allocated any funding.

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