JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)
The Missouri Legislature did not override the governor's veto of more than $1 million in funds for Missouri Task Force One.
The Missouri General Assembly's veto session was noon Wednesday after Gov. Mike Parson vetoed $555 million from the state budget this year. Although the Missouri House of Representatives voted to restore more than $43 million to the state budget, the Senate did not take up any vetoes before adjourning.
Included in those vetoes was at least $1.4 million in funding for Missouri Task Force One. Rep. Cheri Toalson Reisch (R-Hallsville) asked to restore the Missouri Task Force One funding.
"It is based out of my county of Boone. But this helps every county in Missouri and every state in this country," Toalson Reisch said.
Last year, the Missouri Legislature gave Missouri Task Force One more than $1 million to help with buying equipment and paying members to go to onsite training. A $550,000 appropriation for training stayed in the 2024 fiscal year budget signed this month by Parson.
But Boone County Fire Protection District Assistant Chief Gale Blomenkamp said this isn't enough to pay for an important training the task force does in Georgia, which simulates a real disaster.
"These people are 210 of them from across the state of Missouri, and not everybody gets to go on a deployment every year," Blomenkamp said. "So we don't have that many deployments. So it's very important that these people that have not been deployed for two or three years get this training."
Blomenkamp said the governor also vetoed funding that would help Task Force One get its own transportation, so it doesn't have to rely on rented buses.
"It's very hard," Blomenkamp said. "In fact, there was one deployment where we went to Colorado for some for some flooding from Estes Park down the Thompson Canyon several years ago, where there were no buses available."
Parson said his vetoes were done because the General Assembly's budget was $1.7 billion larger than his recommendations. When previously asked for further comment on his Task Force One veto, his office referred ABC 17 back to the veto note.
Veto overrides are more challenging than passing bills; an override requires a two-thirds vote in each chamber to kill the governor's veto.