THE 77TH DISTRICT LEGISLATIVE SURVEY
The 77th District legislative survey will contain questions on topics including appropriations, civil rights, law enforcement, transportation infrastructure, corrections, public defenders, economic development, telecommunications, and weapons. The online version of the survey can be found on my official House page For more information or to request a mailed copy, constituents can contact my office at (573) 751-1400 or by email at Steven.Roberts@house.mo.gov.
OPPOSED TO HR 12
I opposed HR 12 which was a resolution in support of Scott Pruitt’s nomination of lead the Environmental Protection Agency (E.P.A.) Climate change is a serious problem for our state and nation.
GOVERNOR PROPOSES $25.58 STATE BUDGET FOR FY 2018
A day before the constitutional deadline, Gov. Eric Greitens submitted a $25.58 billion state operating budget for the 2018 fiscal year, which begins July 1. Although Greitens, touted making $572 million in spending cuts from the current fiscal year, many of those cuts are offset by increases elsewhere.
Higher education, in particular, takes a big hit under Greitens budget, with a $159 million overall funding reduction, including $116.2 million from general revenue. Of the latter amount, four-year colleges and universities will see a $74 million general revenue cut, with an additional $14 million reduction targeting community colleges.
On K-12 funding, Greitens recommends a $3.2 million bump to the $3.35 billion appropriated during the current fiscal year to support local public schools. Under state law, another $48 million is needed to fully fund K-12 schools in FY 2018.
Greitens’ handling of the budget process has been unorthodox. He opted not to present his budget during his State of the State address on Jan. 17. He made his presentation before a preschool class in Nixa.
The Missouri Constitution requires the governor submit a proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year within 30 days of the start of the legislative session. Greitens pushed that deadline further than any previous governor by submitting his budget on the 29th. The delay means the legislature starts the budget process already behind schedule. Lawmakers must pass the appropriations for the 2018 fiscal year by no later than May 5.
LAWMAKERS REJECT PAY HIKES FOR ELECTED OFFICIALS
Missouri lawmakers and statewide elected officials won’t receive pay raises for at least two more years after the Senate voted 25-2 on Jan. 30 to pass a resolution rejecting pay hikes recommended by the State Salary Commission. The House of Representatives had approved the rejection measure, HCR 4, a week earlier on a 154-5-1 vote. It has been nearly a decade since lawmakers and elected officials have received a pay increase.
Lawmakers currently earn $35,915 a year. The Salary Commission had called for them to received raises of $1,818 phased in over two years. Statewide elected officials would have received more significant increases over two years, ranging from a $14,3901 increase for the lieutenant governor, of $17,929 for the secretary of state, state auditor, and state treasurer, a $19,375 hike for the attorney general and a $22,268 raise for the governor.
SO-CALLED ‘RIGHT-TO-WORK’ BILL SENT TO GOVERNOR
I was honored to have been endorsed by many of the labor unions in our great state and recognize the value of unions in our community. I voted in opposition of “Right to Work, ” but unfortunately, we did not have enough votes to prevent it from passing in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives on Jan. 26 voted 100-59 to make it a crime for business owners to negotiate labor contracts, punishable by jail time contracts that require workers to pay dues for the union representation they receive. Senate Bill 19, which previously passed the Senate, now goes to Gov. Eric Greitens, a Republican who is expected to sign the measure into law.
As they did when passing the House version of the so-called “right-to-work” bill a week earlier, majority Republicans rejected an attempt by House Democrats to give voters the final say on the issue by putting SB 19 on the statewide ballot. Missouri voters overwhelmingly rejected right-to-work when it last appeared on the ballot in 1978.
*Capitol Report for District 77 from Jan.12th- 31st