JEFFERSON CITY, Mo (KMIZ)
Missouri representatives reconvened in the house chamber Wednesday morning amid heightened concerns of the coronavirus pandemic and warnings from state and local officials to avoid gatherings of more than 50 people.
House budget committee chairman Rep. Cody Smith, R-Jasper, said his goal is that his colleagues pass a form of the state budget that would not need any significant revision by the state Senate, such that the 163-member House would not be forced to form another quorum.
The threat of the COVID-19 pandemic loomed over the discussion and funding relief efforts for local businesses, county health departments and first responders consumed the majority of Wednesday morning's debate.
As of the publication of this article, the planned funding for coronavirus relief efforts on the state level is estimated to be $40.2 million. That sum includes $7.2 million to which the Parson administration has access through the governor's emergency declaration and $33 million in approved spending of expected federal funds.
The longterm effect of the coronavirus on Missouri's statewide revenue is unclear, according to Smith.
House leaders of both major parties announced a press conference to take place upon adjournment Wednesday.