This week, the Missouri Senate approved a state budget for fiscal year 2018 that funds key priorities supported by the Missouri Catholic Conference (MCC). Funding is included for women in crisis pregnancies, refugees fleeing war-torn countries, and programs to reconnect absent fathers with their families.
As approved by the Missouri Senate, the proposed budget would provide the following levels of funding for MCC priorities: $6.3 million for alternatives to abortion services; $25.1 million for the Show-Me Healthy Babies program; $3.8 million for refugee resettlement; and, $1.5 million for the newly created Healthy Marriage and Fatherhood Initiative Program.
The funding will allow Catholic Charities and other non-profits to expand their help to families in need. For example, funding for the Alternatives to Abortion (ATA) program gives more resources to pregnancy resource centers that assist women facing crisis pregnancies.
Budget deliberations, however, are far from over. A conference committee of senators and representatives will now have to reconcile differences between the House and Senate. The general assembly is supposed to send a budget to Governor Grietens by Friday, May 5, but any impasse next week could lead to a special session. See this St. Louis Post-Dispatch article for more.