Gov. Mike Parson said Tuesday he will announce new cuts to state department budgets within the next 10 days due to impacts of COVID-19.
During a news conference, Parson said more cuts are needed to balance the budget for the 2020 fiscal year, which ends June 30 He said every department is at risk of experiencing shortfalls, as the state wrestles with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The governor declined to give any budget numbers or say how much might need to be cut.
Parson said he will meet about budget issues Wednesday with the Missouri Department of Education and heads of state universities and community colleges. He said Missouri schools will “most certainly” see a reduction in state funding.
At MU, 899 employees have been furloughed for budgetary reasons, according to previous Missourian recording.
If Missouri does not receive additional funding from federal sources, Parson said the 2021 fiscal year budget could also have withholds and cuts. Those would be announced July 1, he said.
Next year’s budget was narrowly passed when lawmakers returned for the 2020 legislative session after a break for social distancing at the height of COVID-19 concerns. Lawmakers stripped $700 million from Parson’s initial budget proposal, while avoiding a 10% cut to education funding, dependent on future federal assistance.
Despite the potential for future cuts, Parson said it is not guaranteed lawmakers would need to return to Jefferson City in the summer for a special session to address budget concerns.
His budget comments came two weeks after Missouri’s economy reopened May 4.
Parson also announced unemployment claims have reduced to 30,000 a week, whereas two weeks ago they reached over 100,000.