|Southwest Missouri got a voice on the Missouri Legislature's Appropriations Committee recently when Senator Ron Richard (R-Joplin) became a member. His appointment was made by Senate Leader Robert N. Mayer (R-Dexter). The committee, which considers all legislation relating to general appropriations and public funding, plays an instrumental role in crafting the yearly state budget.
"I'm honored to be appointed to the Appropriations Committee, and provide a voice for southwest Missouri on the committee," Richard said. "I look forward to working with Chairmen Schaeffer, and the other members of this important committee."
With a projected revenue shortfall of more than $400 million, Richard says creating a balanced budget this year will be one of the General Assembly's highest, and most challenging, priorities.
"Our state faces tough fiscal decisions this year, but we will not pass a budget that relies on a tax increase," said Richard. "Working families have to balance their budgets, and so should the state, without increasing taxes."
In addition to the Appropriations Committee, Richard serves as the vice-chairman of the Jobs, Economic Development and Local Government Committee, and is a member of the Transportation and the Ways & Means and Fiscal Oversight committees. He also served as the chairman of the Senate Interim Committee on Natural Disaster Recovery.
Mayer said that one of the toughest challenges this year again will be balancing the state budget. According to projections, there is a possible $500 million budget shortfall for fiscal year 2013 that begins on July 1. He reminded everyone that the Senate made difficult budget decisions in FY 2011 when they reduced spending by more than a half billion dollars.
Richard's Senate homepage may be found here.