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Missouri Gov. Parson vetoes $1 billion in projects from the state budget

Former queer professional soccer player Struby sits in a chair in her living room on Wednesday, April 17, 2024, at her home in Columbia. “I think for a community that has such high rates and frequency of so many of us having had suicidal ideation and suicidal thoughts and suicidal attempts, we’ve got to celebrate that we’re still here,” Struby said. “For being a culture and a community that went through the AIDS epidemic, we’ve got to celebrate that we’re still here. We owe it to our communities and the people who worked hard before us and ahead of us to get us here to celebrate that we’ve made it.”
Eric Lee / St.Louis Public Radio
Gov. Mike Parson delivers his State of the State address, outlining his budget priorities, to a joint session of the legislature on Jan. 24. Parson approved the budget for the upcoming fiscal year on Friday, vetoing $1 billion in projects.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson on Friday vetoed $1 billion in spending from the next year's budget, including spending on education, transportation projects and state Capitol renovations.

That total is almost double the funding that Parson cut last year. In all, 173 items were struck from the $51.7 billion budget that lawmakers passed in May. The next fiscal year begins Monday.

“The use of the veto pen is not something I do eagerly, but today these vetoes represent the elimination of unnecessary pet projects and the protection of the taxpayer dime,” Parson said.

Lawmakers passed a $51.7 billion budget back in May, narrowly meeting the necessary deadline.

The governor’s office listed four main factors that led to vetoes for this budget:

  • An omnibus education bill passed and signed into law this year is expected to cost the state $400 million more annually once fully implemented.
  • Necessary increases to public school funding.
  • The legislature spent $300 million more in general revenue than Parson asked for.
  • The legislature over-appropriated too much money from the state’s Budget Stabilization Funds, which is money provided from the federal government to help states during the pandemic. 


Parson frequently cited the education omnibus bill in his veto letters for K-12 and higher education budget bills and others, too.

The cuts include $10 million for the state’s “Close the Gap” grant program and $5 million toward the University of Missouri Agricultural Extension Service.


Parson cut millions of dollars related to transportation, including two major interstate projects.

Among them, the governor vetoed $3.4 million for an environmental study of the impact of expanding Interstate 70 to three lanes in each direction.

In his veto letter on that item, Parson said that the General Assembly “grossly over-appropriated Budget Stabilization Funds” and that the state is already “investing $2.8 billion for improvements to Interstate 70.”

Parson also issued one of the largest vetoes for an I-44 improvement fund, cutting $150 million. The total remaining for this particular item is $214 million, which would pay for a number of improvement projects for I-44, while still saving some money for the next administration and legislature, Parson said in his veto letter.

The governor’s office said in a statement that within the budget is “$577.5 million to pave the way for I-44 expansion, from St. Louis to Joplin.” That expansion could include more lanes.

Securing the U.S. southern border

Also vetoed from this year’s budget is $6 million to the Missouri National Guard for southern border security. Parson reduced the allocation to $2 million.

The governor said in May that he intended to veto the funding because his office didn’t ask for it. “We don't need that money. I think that was more of a political statement, people were trying to make, to say we support that,” Parson said.

Parson also said in his veto letter that his executive order that sent Missouri National Guard Troops and Missouri Highway Patrol troopers to the Texas-Mexico border has concluded.

Capitol renovations

The largest veto within this year’s budget is a $497 million transfer for the State Capitol Commission Fund, which is used for preserving and restoring the Capitol. That particular veto almost makes up half of the total dollars Parson cut from the budget.

Parson said that without a detailed plan for the next set of renovations for the Missouri State Capitol, a full transfer of those dollars was not needed.

Other cuts

More than a fifth of all the vetoes were projects funded by the federal American Rescue Plan Act.

Some of those vetoes included $8 million for a police department training facility in O’Fallon, $11 million for a redevelopment project in Cape Girardeau and $15 million from the South Loop Project in Kansas City.

Parson said in May before he saw the final budget passed by the legislature that he believed the process this session was rushed and lacked transparency.

He also said earlier this month that he believes the state will have to pass a large supplemental budget bill during the next governor’s administration.

“I'm not going to hand-tie them to where all of a sudden they walk into office, and they don't have funding,” Parson said.

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