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MBP Statement: Governor’s Veto & Restrictions Slam Seniors, People with Disabilities, & Kids

Governor’s Veto of House Committee Bill 3 & Cuts to Budget, Create Unnecessary Harm to Seniors, People with Disabilities and Kids

Statement from Amy Blouin, MBP Executive Director

The Governor just announced his veto of House Committee Bill 3, which would have tapped unused funds to provide in-home health services for Missouri seniors and people with disabilities. As a result, access to in-home care will be restricted for 8,000 Missourians who have serious health conditions. The in-home services help people to remain in their own homes, and the veto of HCB 3 will likely result in many of these Missourians needing more costly nursing home care.

While it was not a long-term funding solution, it allowed legislators time to design one without eliminating critical services for Missourians who most need them.

Poor tax policies got Missouri into the budget bind it’s in. It shouldn’t be on the backs of low-income Missourians or Missourians with disabilities to get the state out.

In addition to the veto, the Governor announced an additional $250 million in cuts to the new state budget which takes effect on July 1st. These include cuts to the reimbursement rate for providers of mental health and services for Missouri’s children and adults with developmental disabilities; cuts to funding for foster care and residential treatment for abused children; cuts to state funding for school transportation; and cuts to higher education.

Our state faces even tougher times ahead. As more poorly designed tax cuts go into effect in January, it will become even harder for Missouri to support quality classrooms for our kids, safe roads and bridges, and a strong safety net for our grandparents and neighbors with disabilities.

The generations before us chose to invest in their communities and the futures of their children and grandchildren. Only time will tell whether today’s elected officials will do the same.

They can make better choices for Missouri by enacting, common-sense tax policies that would enable our great state to protect vulnerable Missourians AND prevent more fiscal pain in the future:

Bring the “Timely Filing Discount” in line with other states: Missouri’s “Timely Filing Discount” allows retailers to retain a portion of the sales and use taxes they collect from customers if they remit those taxes to the state in a timely manner. This “vendor discount” is the second most generous in the country, and cost Missourians $114 million in 2016. Bringing this discount in line with other states would allow our state to make much needed investments in Missourians that would strengthen our quality of life and economic competitiveness.

Repeal the business income deduction provision from SB 509: This provision is widely recognized across the political spectrum as bad tax policy that simply creates “winners & losers,” while doing nothing to stimulate economic growth. The provision will cost as much as $200 million a year when fully implemented.

Fix the hole created by corporate tax changes: Corporate tax revenue has declined by 60% since FY 2015, and a significant part of the decline is due to changes to the way corporate taxes are calculated for multi-state companies. This decline is driving much of the current budget problem.

The list could go on. Now is the time for the Missouri lawmakers to lead Missouri along a better path and revise tax policies that do not generate economic growth so that our state can invest in our greatest asset – our people.

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The Missouri Budget Project is nonprofit public policy analysis organization that analyzes state budget, tax, and economic issues.

 

 

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