Legislative Update - 2024, Week 16

By Otto Fajen, MNEA Legislative Director 


The Senate Appropriations Committee completed proposed revisions to the House versions of the state budget bills for the next fiscal year on April 24. The Senate is expected to take up the bills for floor debate next week. The budget deadline for this session requires completion of all legislative action on the budget by 6 p.m. on May 10, so the time for the budget conference will be limited.

The full funding cost of the school formula will increase by $120 million for the next school year and by an additional $300 million for the following school year. These increases result from the recalculation of the State Adequacy Target due to MSIP 6 changes. The House budget funded the increase with lottery funds, while the Senate committee adopted the Governor's position to fund the increase with General Revenue funds.

60-second summary
Click to Watch Video

The K-12 budget also fully funds the statutorily required level of transportation funding. The Senate committee adopted the Governor's position to fund $69 million for Career Ladder, while the House position would cut this to $55 million. The Senate committee also adopted the Governor's position to increase grants for teacher minimum salary by $4 million to a total of $33 million.

The Senate version of the higher education budget adopts the Governor's proposed 3% increase to public institutions (both community colleges and four-year colleges) rather than the House position of a 2% increase. 


The House voted to approve SS#2/SCS/SB 727 (Andrew Koenig) on April 18 by a vote of 82-69. The final version of the bill has been printed and delivered to the Governor for his approval or veto. Since the legislature is still in session, Governor Parson will have fifteen calendar days from this date to return the bill to the legislature with his approval or veto. The Association opposes the bill and urges Governor Parson to veto the bill.

SB 727 expands the existing tax credit voucher enacted in 2021 and authorizes the establishment of charter schools in any district in Boone County without sponsorship by the local school board. The Association recognizes that positive provisions were added during Senate floor action but remains opposed to the bill.



The House approved HCS/SS#4/SJR 74 (Mary Elizabeth Coleman) on April 25 by a vote of 102-49. The Association opposes the joint resolution and remains concerned that the resolution will make it more difficult for Missouri citizens to bring forward and gain approval on measures of interest brought by the initiative petition process.

SJR 74 raises the approval requirement for initiatives proposing constitutional amendments to add a concurrent majority in at least a majority of Missouri's Congressional districts. The HCS version also includes several peripheral provisions that have been dubbed "ballot candy."  Ballot candy is a name given to bogus provisions added to trick voters into voting for the measure, such as including broadly supported policies that are already law. The Senate had removed the ballot candy provisions during floor debate.

The House version now returns to the Senate for further consideration.



The House gave first-round approval to HB 1991 (Sherri Gallick) on April 24. The Association supports the bill. The bill requires public schools to develop and implement a cardiac emergency response plan. The bill requires coordination with emergency service providers, includes guidelines for the plans, and requires relevant training for appropriate personnel. The Missouri NEA believes that all schools must have written plans that delineate procedures regarding emergencies. The Association also believes that education employees should have the opportunity for training in CPR and the proper use of defibrillator, Naloxone, and epinephrine dispensers by qualified personnel. The House also adopted an amendment requiring each licensed childcare provider to adopt an allergy prevention and response policy.



The Senate Select Committee on Empowering Missouri Parents and Children heard SB 1125 (Ben Brown) on April 23. The bill seeks to ban certain policies in public college admissions, contracting, hiring, and promotions. The Association believes that school recruitment policies should seek to recruit and retain culturally diverse education professionals. The Association is concerned that the broad definitions and wording in the bill may prohibit schools from assessing and revising employment policies and practices to improve opportunities and increase applications from underrepresented groups.



The committee heard HB 2938 (Bishop Davidson) on April 23. The bill creates a new state-level council that would create a school letter-grade accountability system. The Association continues to oppose this kind of top-down approach and supports the increased local control proposed in HB 1851 (Paula Brown) and SB 814 (Jill Carter).