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10 January 2012

Schaefer: Preview Of State Budget Battle

Greetings! The Second Regular Session of the 96th General Assembly is now under way. I am off to a busy start and I am excited to continue my work at the Capitol for the citizens of the 19th District.

This session, I will continue to serve as chairman of the Appropriations Committee, chairman of the Joint Committee on Capitol Improvements and Leases Oversight, and as a member on both the Education Committee and the Commerce, Consumer Protection, Energy, and Environment Committee.

One of the toughest challenges this year will be to balance the state budget. As Chairman as Appropriations Committee, budget concerns are of the utmost priority. I recently expressed my opinions concerning the upcoming budget. You may listen to the following media clips by clicking the links below.
My reaction to the State budget:[Click here]Upcoming State of the State Speech and Budget Concerns:[Click here]
Click on the images for a larger version:
Opening day press conference, from left to right, myself, Senate Minority Floor Leader Victor Callahan, Senate President Pro Tem Rob Mayer, and Senate Majority Floor Leader Tom Dempsey.Here, I expound on the challenges and concerns of the Appropriations Committee.

I have filed two filed bills so far this session, Senate Bill 532 and Senate Bill 599.

If passed, SB 532 would extend the tax credit donations to food pantries until August 2022.

This bill would assist food pantries by providing an added incentive for individuals to donate to local food pantries.

The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri experienced a 19 percent increase in people served in just the past two years.

Peggy Kirkpatrick of the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri supports SB 532, stating, “The reauthorization of the Food Pantry Tax Credit is vitally important to hunger relief organizations that are struggling with increased demand for food assistance. The tax credits allow donors to contribute more and provide vital financial assistance when it is so critically needed.”

The bill was referred to the Senate Ways and Means Financial Oversight Committee.

Senate Bill 599 requires school districts to include in their annual school accountability report whether the school district currently has a state-approved gifted education program and to report the number of students in their gifted program. This ensures that schools will remain accountable for the education of their gifted students.

Thank you for your continued interest in the issues that affect the citizens of Boone and Randolph counties. If you have any questions or concerns please contact my office.

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