Weather-Related Disclaimer: missives from legislators concerning road conditions, although timely and important, should be considered snapspots in time. For the most recent travel information, please consult MoDOT's Web site at

except when the post starts "MO Expat", all content published on Missives from Missouri is written and supplied by the noted legislator. Said missives will not necessarily reflect the views of Kyle Hill, the operator of Missives from Missouri, and as such the operator does not assume responsibility for its content. More information
Share this missive:

30 March 2010

Kraus: House of Representatives Completes Its Work On Fiscal Year 2011 Budget

After two days of discussion, the Missouri House gave final approval last Thursday to the 13 appropriations bills that make up the fiscal year 2011 state government operating budget. Through committee work and amendments adopted on the House floor, members cut more than $224 million in general revenue from the proposed budget to trim the spending plan to about $23.6 billion. Coming into the budget process, House members were faced with a budget deficit of at least $200 million.

A remaining question is whether additional cuts will be necessary because $300 million in federal stimulus money is included in the spending plan. Missouri will receive this additional federal aid only if Congress extends a provision of the stimulus package. Furthermore, there are additional concerns that another 900 million dollars of proposed expenditures already are financed with federal stimulus funds.

We all know that we are facing a difficult budget year, and the lengthy budget debate therefore became a heated exchange. Some tough choices had to be made. The bulk of the cuts made on the House floor took place when members approved an amendment to eliminate a $105.7 million increase in funding to the state's 523 public school districts. By approving the amendment, the House froze funding for the school foundation formula at the same level as that of the current year.

As a long time and active supporter of education, and believing as I do that we must have a good educational system to build tomorrow’s leaders, I found this amendment difficult to swallow and voted against it. Other members felt it best to leave the full funding for schools in the budget, knowing that cuts may be necessary further along in the process of crafting the budget. Despite opposition, the amendment passed.

I also voted to reduce funding for next year’s operational budget of the House of Representatives by $500,000. In my view, this was a time for leadership from our own members, and I made this case in the debate on the House floor. When we’re asking for reductions from so many other groups and organizations, we need to take a hit ourselves and show that we’re willing to reduce our budget here in the Missouri House. Along those lines, we also approved an amendment to save more than $390,000 by reducing our own monthly expense accounts.

Additional budget cuts came from a set of amendments to reduce the salaries of state department directors and assistants to statewide office holders and to reduce funding to state agencies for food, meetings, and membership dues for national organizations.

The 13 appropriations bills now move to the Senate for consideration. The General Assembly must approve the fiscal year 2011 budget by May 7.

Meetings and Events

Governmental Relations Committee

Last weekend, I was honored to attend the Governmental Relations Committee Meeting of the Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce, where I updated attendees on the budget recently passed in the House. I was also glad to see all of my friends and neighbors at this event.

Raytown Schools Legislative Forum

I was also pleased to be able to attend the Legislative Forum hosted by the City of Raytown, Raytown Quality Schools, the PTA Council, and the Raytown Area Chamber of Commerce last Friday. I value this time to discuss issues important to our schools.

Eagle Egg Run and Walk

Last Saturday, I ran a five-kilometer run in the first annual LSCCS Eagle Egg 5K Run and Walk. Drawing about 400 runners and walkers, this was a fun family event for all ages and fitness levels. I finished 36th with a time of 25 minutes and 40 seconds. As a captain in the U.S. Army Reserve, I am appreciative of the impetus that the Army gives me to keep in shape. The sore muscles that I felt afterward were well worth the sense of accomplishment of finishing a long race and being part of a worthwhile community event. Congratulations to Senator Matt Bartle, who ran a very good race and finished several minutes ahead of me. Sen. Bartle does a good job of keeping in shape by running.

Second Annual Jackson County Trash Bash

The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) is joining with the Jackson County Cleanup Coalition to gear up for the 2nd Annual Jackson County Trash Bash. This event raises awareness and commitment to fight litter on Missouri's roadways. The year-long campaign will kick off from 10 a.m. to noon on Friday, April 2 at the Independence Events Center on 19100 East Valley View Parkway.

All residents in Jackson County communities are invited to stop by and learn about how to become involved in the cleanup effort. The Jackson County Cleanup Coalition is a collaborative effort of Jackson County communities working together to prevent and clean up litter within our county.

During this event, representatives from cities, law enforcement agencies, and landfills across the Jackson County area will join forces to fight litter along our Missouri roadways. In addition, this year, a litter collection event is planned in the area following the main event. Bags, gloves, and caution vests will be provided for anyone interested in participating in that event.

MoDOT spends $5.8 million annually to clean litter from Missouri highways, money that would be better spent improving Missouri roads. Trash poses health and environmental risks, is associated with increased crime, and makes our communities unattractive. Here’s an opportunity to help clean it up.

For further information about this project, please visit MoDOT's Facebook page at, Twitter site at, or web site at You can also contact MoDOT 24 hours-a-day at 888-ASK-MODOT to find out information or report road concerns

No comments:

Post a Comment