The governor can propose a budget, but the general assembly retains the power to adopt a budget and actually appropriate funds. Here are some highlights of budget recommendations made by Governor Nixon:
- Over $900 million in federal funds to expand Medicaid coverage to 259,000 low-income working adults;
- Increased funding for early childhood education and preschool programs;
- $10.1 million to address unmet mental health needs, including funding to improve community responses to mental health crises and provide intervention coordination;
- Additional funds to make the A+ schools program statewide. This program offers scholarships to graduates of public high schools who meet certain criteria. (The MCC has sought to amend the existing program to include graduates of private high schools but so far legislators have failed to make this change).
- Elimination of a renter’s tax credit. At present low-income elderly renters can apply for a tax credit refund on twenty percent of the gross rent they pay in a calendar year. The governor proposes eliminating this credit and moving the estimated $56 million into a new Senior Protection Fund that would provide services to the elderly and disabled.