Nearly $127 million in restricted money from the state of Missouri’s fiscal 2021 budget has been released, Gov. Mike Parson said at a Wednesday news briefing. He also announced additional federal funding for higher education and child care.
The state had previously restricted about $449 million in 2021 fiscal year funding to ensure a balanced budget in the face of the economic upset caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Parson said some of that money can be released because of a faster-than-expected economic recovery.
“Thanks to our Show Me Recovery Plan, we continue to outpace our economic recovery forecast, which is why we were able to release these funds today,” Parson said. “This is great news for our overall state and economy.”
Nearly $26 million of the newly released money will go to the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development, and another $1.5 million will go to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Other allotments will go to the Department of Health and Senior Services and the Department of Economic Development, among others.
Parson also announced an additional $68 million in federal funding for infrastructure and capital improvements at Missouri’s public universities. MU will be receiving $20 million of those federal funds, according to a news release from the governor’s office.
Commissioner of Higher Education Zora Mulligan said at the news briefing that the Federal Budget Stabilization money will help universities fix up old buildings and tackle projects that have been on their deferred maintenance lists for years.
“Taking care of an old building may not seem as exciting as putting up a new one, but it’s an investment in the future and an essential act of stewardship,” she said.
Parson also gave a COVID-19 update at the conference and announced a $4 million CARES Act grant to a St. Louis community college for on-campus child care services.