Missouri lawmakers looking towards potential special sessions later in the year

Joplin Area Coronavirus

SOUTHWEST MISSOURI — As Southwest Missouri lawmakers head back to Jefferson City, they’re already looking down the road to potential special sessions later in the year.

MO Rep. Cody Smith, R, said, “When we are able to reconvene in Jefferson City, we’ll be looking at entirely different conditions than we did even a month ago when we were working on the state budget.”

State Representative Cody Smith has been working by phone, in regular contact with Governor Mike Parson.

He says finishing the 2021 budget is the top priority.

“Passing a balanced budget is the one constitutional requirement of the Missouri General Assembly – we know we will get that done. we may not get much else done.”

He’s in charge of the House Budget Committee and points first to immediate federal coronavirus funding.

“The 300 million will be through medicaid program presumably, uh there will be potentially much more than that spent on emergency, through the emergency services for things like personal protective equipment, ventilators, so on and so forth.”

Earlier this week, Governor Mike Parson announced cuts for the $30 billion 2020 budget could reach $500 million dollars by the end of June.

“So we know that’s already impacting or will be impacting the budget through the end of the fiscal year and then going on to the next fiscal year we expect that will carry over.”

The state Senate returns on Tuesday, while the House starts next Wednesday.

Since Smith expects the budget to be the primary, if not only, goal for the rest of the session – he says it’s likely lawmakers will return for special sessions in the Summer and Fall.

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