The state is moving in the right direction on infrastructure budget bills signed by Gov. Mike Parson the past week.
The General Assembly took a major step forward in approving the bills just signed by the governor, who didn’t get everything he sought for FY20, but there’s progress in the bills signed. He is a champion of infrastructure improvements.
The millions for infrastructure have been mentioned before and we are repeating them again because this is progress:
$351 million for replacement and repair of bridges, including $50 million one time general revenue and $301 million from bonding contingent upon the award of the federal INFRA grant;
$50 million for a transportation cost-share program with local communities;
$10.8 million State Road Fund for maintenance repairs due to flooding;
$5million State Road Fund for construction due to flooding;
$6.4 million for port capital improvement projects;
$5 million for grants to provide broadband access to under-served areas pursuant to HB 1872 (2018); and
$10 million for the Multipurpose Water Resource Program, including the planning, design, construction, or renovation of public water supplies, flood control storage, drought mitigation, and public water supply treatment or transmission facilities.
Another top priority for the governor was workforce development. Signed by the governor were bills that will provide millions for these programs:
$18.9 million for the MO Excels Workforce Initiative, which develops and expands employer-driven education, training programs, and initiatives to increase educational attainment;
$10 million Lottery Proceeds Fund to support the Fast-Track Workforce Incentive Grant program;
$61.4 million to fully fund the education foundation formula;
$5 million for transportation funding for schools; and
$10.4 million for the Missouri One Start Program to provide new and expanding industry training programs and basic industry retraining programs.
The total state budget is $30.1 billion. The governor’s priorities could be said to be in line with what many Missourians see as top issues.