Lawmakers Approve State Budget

This week, the Missouri General Assembly approved a $28 billion budget for fiscal year 2019, which begins on July 1, 2018. This budget represents an increase of $600 million over fiscal year 2018. Preparing the budget and debating how the state will allocate its financial resources is the one obligation lawmakers must fulfill during the legislative session.  

Included in the FY 2019 budget is $6.4 million for the Alternatives to Abortion program.  This funding 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.