Last week, the Missouri legislature passed the state budget for the 2019 Fiscal Year. Here’s a breakdown of a few budget items important to the conference this year.
Life & Family
We reported last week that the Alternatives to Abortion program received $6.4 million in funding. This money is used by local pregnancy resource centers and maternity homes that provide women facing an unplanned pregnancy with material, educational and spiritual support to help them carry their babies to term. Also included is $15.7 million dollars to the Show-Me Healthy Babies program, which provides medical care to the unborn children of women without health insurance.
The FY 2019 budget also includes $2.5 million for the healthy marriage/fatherhood initiative, a program which encourages participation of fathers in their children’s lives and upbringing. The budget also includes $1.4 million for a pilot program that extends coverage for drug treatment for postpartum women from two months to twelve months. It is hoped that this program will help women with drug dependency to break free of their addictions so that they can better parent their children.
The A+ program received an increased investment of $3.5 million, allowing more high school students, both in public schools and Catholic and other private schools, to earn scholarships toward their college education. Through the A+ Program, high school students who graduate with a grade point average of at least 2.5, have an attendance record of at least 95%, and perform at least 50 hours of unpaid tutoring or mentoring can attend a public community college or vocational/technical school with waived tuition, or can receive a scholarship toward tuition at a state or private college.
Health and Mental Health
Funding was also increased for several programs relating to Missouri’s health and mental health services, as well as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program, which will receive an increase of $15 million in funds. The nursing home reimbursement rate will increase to $8.30 Medicaid patient per day, totaling more than $72.1 million. Mental health programs received an increase of over $100 million in funding.