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Billions of dollars hang in the balance with one month left in Missouri legislative session


The clock is ticking for Missouri lawmakers to renew a Medicaid program that brings the state billions of dollars for health care and nursing homes.

The Missouri General Assembly gavels out of regular session May 17 at 5 p.m. Any bills not sent to the governor before that time will be moot, including the Federal Reimbursement Allowance. The FRA is a revenue stream that provides about $4.5 billion for MoHealthNet, but the money also props up other areas of the state budget such as education.

Despite the large economic impact of the FRA, lawmakers have yet to bring it up on the floor. Sen. Lincoln Hough (R-Springfield) sponsors the bill carrying the FRA, and although he wants to bring it up, he is stalled by other lawmakers.

"This has become sort of a political football that gets punted back and forth every so often," Hough said.

The FRA was last renewed in 2021.

Gov. Mike Parson had to call a special session for it to be renewed. The entire process was slowed because some Republicans wanted to add an amendment blocking Planned Parenthood from receiving any of the FRA funds; ultimately it was renewed without that language.

Members of the Freedom Caucus in the Missouri Senate continue to ask for language blocking Planned Parenthood from receiving state funds. Senators passed a bill last week that would do just that.

"In the now almost year and a half that I've been the appropriations chair in the Senate, we have not reimbursed Planned Parenthood with state dollars," Hough said.

Graph from the Missouri Budget Project

If the FRA is not renewed, the Missouri Budget Project predicts the state will have to pull $1.5 billion from education funds to avoid losing Medicaid services.

Check back for updates to this developing story.

Article Topic Follows: Missouri Politics

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Hannah Falcon

Hannah joined the ABC 17 News Team from Houston, Texas, in June 2021. She graduated from Texas A&M University. She was editor of her school newspaper and interned with KPRC in Houston. Hannah also spent a semester in Washington, D.C., and loves political reporting.


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