Missouri Governor Mike Parson says a better financial and employment picture is behind the decision announced Wednesday to release nearly $40 million dollars in general funds previously withheld. The governor also announced nearly $95 million dollars in CARES Act funding.
Due to projected financial impacts, $436 million dollars was restricted in spending to develop a balanced budget and used in the fight against COVID-19. The governor stated those figures were based on an unemployment rate for the state that was projected to be as high as 16.3 percent. Missouri’s actual unemployment rate is now 5 percent. The state’s net general revenue report was also a September collection that was actually 3 percent higher than September of last year.
The $38.3 million dollar release of restricted funding is a little over half of the total restricting funding amount of nearly $69 million. The Bright Flight Scholarship Program will receive 3.2 of the 6.5 million dollars previously restricted. Four-year Higher Education Institutions will receive almost $14 million of the $28 million dollars restricted. Community colleges will receive $9.2 of $18.4 million dollars withheld. $100,000 toward Senior Independent Living Programs will be reinstated. All $4.1 million dollars withheld for Port Authority Capital Improvements in Missouri was released. $3.9 million of $7.8 million dollars in Developmental Disability Community Programs was reinstated.
Of the $94.7 million dollars of CARES Act funding, $61.5 million dollars is spending for support of K-12 education. $10 million will provide Independent Colleges and Universities with PPE and other COVID-19 related expenses. $10 million dollars will provide PPE and other COVID-related expenses to Child Care Providers. Another $10 million dollars will be used for similar expenses for Assisted Living Centers and Residential Care Facilities.