[SeMissourian.com] Fair ~ 68°F  
River stage: 18.8 ft. Falling
Friday, Aug. 28, 2015

Editorial: Prudent spending

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Missouri expects to receive more than $4 billion from the federal government through various economic stimulus packages. Of that, about half is earmarked for specific uses, with one of the biggest chunks going for transportation projects. That leaves about $2 billion to be budgeted by the Missouri Legislature.

As might be expected when such a large sum of money comes along, there is, so far, no clear-cut priorities for spending $2 billion. The task of allocating the federal stimulus money is further complicated by the fact that estimates of the state's revenue shortfall are climbing every day, and legislators are scrambling to make ends meet.

The federal stimulus money might be seen by some legislators as a Band-Aid for this year's revenue cuts resulting from a badly banged-up economy. But spending those bonus dollars on programs that ordinarily would be funded by Missouri's own revenue stream would be fiscally dangerous, if it leads to higher spending obligations in the future.

Missouri -- nor any other state -- can't expect such hefty infusions of federal dollars over the long term. Spending the stimulus funds will require some finesse so that the state gets the most benefit out of each dollar without committing the folks in Jefferson City to long-term spending demands.

Fact Check
See inaccurate information in this story?

Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. If you feel that a comment is offensive, please Login or Create an account first, and then you will be able to flag a comment as objectionable. Please also note that those who post comments on semissourian.com may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.

"...spending those bonus dollars on programs that ordinarily would be funded by Missouri's own revenue stream would be fiscally dangerous..."

The idea of replacing state monies with federal stimulus dollars came up in at least Alaska. It appears that this concept would go against what the meaning of the word 'stimulus' is, since it is merely the 'trading' of state money that would have been spent for federal money to spend instead. Some congressmen, at this point, have determined from the wording of the stimulus bill that it would not be legal.

-- Posted by gurusmom on Wed, Apr 29, 2009, at 1:50 PM

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: