Lawmakers return to Capitol to tackle budget issues in new environment

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 JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Lawmakers returned to the Missouri Capitol Tuesday for the first time since the building closed to the public last month.  The Senate Appropriations Committee began the process of approving a supplemental budget to address a big and unexpected revenue shortfall.

The total amount of emergency federal money that will be available is expected to be in the billions.  The House and Senate are expected to vote Wednesday to authorize the spending.  

Budget Director Dan Haug shared with the committee his estimate for what COVID-19 will do to current revenue projections.   He said, “We’re expecting that to drop off pretty significantly, so we’re thinking revenues are going to be down $700 to $900 million in the last quarter of this fiscal year .“ 

Several senators wore masks.  Some also wore gloves.  The public was encouraged to stay away from the Capitol and watch the proceedings on a live stream.  The committee met in a room with a few chairs spread out with several feet between each one.  

After lawmakers approve a supplemental budget they will still need to approve a balanced budget for the next fiscal year before it begins on July 1st. 

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