2021 brings new opportunities in a new legislative session

by Craig Stevenson, Director of Policy & Advocacy, Kids Win Missouri

Last week, members of the 101st Missouri General Assembly took their oaths and elected chamber leaders. In opening speeches, House Speaker Rob Vescovo discussed his history and desire to improve our foster system and continue to make new investments in early childhood education. Senate leaders have previously discussed legislative priorities to include education reform, tax reform, and ensuring transportation needs are funded through a gas tax initiative. Legislative leaders are working to establish committees and assign committee memberships and chairs.

Today is inauguration day for statewide elected officials. The following were sworn in to their new terms today.

  • Governor Mike Parson
  • Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe
  • Attorney General Eric Schmitt
  • Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft
  • Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick

Advocates will be monitoring the implementation of Medicaid Expansion and the adoption of the FY22 budget.

Governor Parson recently made two funding announcements related to child care. First, on December 30, Gov. Parson announced $46 million in child care support to help both providers and families. Second, on January 6, Gov. Parson announced a $4 million grant to St. Louis Community College to repurpose space for a child care facility. This grant is from Round 2 of the CARES Act Child Care Plan’s grant for higher education institutions, bringing the total allocation of the program to nearly $10 million.

Important Dates to Remember

  • January 18 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day (No Session)
  • March 10 – Child Advocacy Day
  • March 15 – 19 – Legislative Spring Break (No Session)
  • April 5 – Easter Break (No Session)
  • May 14 – Last Day of Session

FY22 Budget Outlook

Budget leaders have agreed on a consensus revenue estimate for FY 2022, which begins on Jul 1, 2021. The projection estimates a 4.1% decline in general revenue, which amounts to a $418.8 million reduction compared to revenue collections expected in FY21.

FY21 Budget Update

On January 6, Governor Parson released $126.9 million in previously restricted funding. This included funding for higher education, pharmacy, early literacy programs along with other items.

Kids Win Missouri Policy Priorities

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