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MISSOURI

Missouri

State Recovery Act Website: http://transform.mo.gov/

Missouri's state Recovery Act website scored 25 out of 100 possible points (ranking a tied 23rd) on Good Jobs First's 51-state study of state stimulus websites entitled Show Us the Stimulus. The state earned a low score by neglecting to disclose contractor information, map projects, describe allocations by county or compared to economic need, or any provide job creation data. Contractor information: none.

Missouri scored more points-40 out of 100 (ranking 22nd)-on its disclosure of information specifically about highway projects funded by the Recovery Act.  The state's Department of Transportation website describes and maps highway projects and their costs.  Missouri also earned points for juxtaposing a map of highway projects with economic need by county. Contractor information: none.

For detailed scoring information, see the Missouri appendix of Show Us the Stimulus.

Note:  Some vendor names and amounts they have received appear on the Missouri Accountability Portal's stimulus section.

Coordination & Oversight

In January Gov. Nixon signed an executive order creating the Governor's Economic Stimulus Coordination Council, which was charged with producing a report on ways to maximize the state's benefits from Recovery Act spending. The council, which was filled mainly with businesspeople, later recommended that the state submit a single application for each federal stimulus grant rather than having cities and agencies compete with one another.

In March Gov. Nixon signed legislation that created two new state funds to make it easier to track how federal stimulus money is being spent.

The state senate created a Select Committee on Oversight of Federal Stimulus chaired by Sen. Scott Rupp.

Policy Debates

Even before President Obama signed the Recovery Act, the Missouri Department of Transportation announced that it had drawn up a list of proposed projects with a total cost of $969 million. It was criticized for failing to target enough of its proposed projects to distressed areas.

Then Gov. Nixon came out with his Transform Missouri Initiative. A very different approach was taken by House Budget Chairman Allen Icet, a Republican who opposed Nixon's call to use some of the federal money to prevent planned cuts in social programs. Icet then pushed to devote the discretionary portion of the state's stimulus funds for supposed one-time uses such as subsidies to ethanol plants, the hiring of additional public defenders, expanding the number of classroom slots for healthcare students at public colleges and universities, and expanding a program that helps recently released inmates reintegrate into society. Other House Republicans pushed to use some of the stimulus money to pay for a special tax break for individuals. Meanwhile, the Senate, also controlled by Republicans, seemed to favor plugging federal dollars into scores of specific state programs.

In late April the House voted against a bill that authorized the use of $336 million of federal stimulus funds on various projects across the state, but in May both chambers approved a $23 billion spending plan that included $783 million in federal stimulus money. Later in the month the legislature approved a bill that paved the way for the state to obtain additional federal funds for unemployment compensation.

Gov. Nixon proposed that $200 million of the federal stimulus money be used as a pool for economic development incentives for companies, but the House shot down the idea.

On April 5 several hundred activists from faith organizations rallied to support the use of stimulus funds to avoid cuts in social programs.

Last updated on: 14 October, 2009

Watchdog Groups

Missouri Budget Project

MoPIRG (Missouri Public Interest Research Group)

Resources

The Missouri Budget Project has produced two papers on the Recovery Act, one summarizing the forms of aid the state will receive and another looking at the expected impact on economic growth and employment.

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