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Covering state lawmakers, bills, and policy emerging from Jefferson City.

Politically Speaking: House Budget Chairman Cody Smith On Missouri’s Spending Priorities

State Rep. Cody Smith, R-Carthage, is the chairman of the House Budget Committee.
Tim Bommel I House Communications
State Rep. Cody Smith, R-Carthage, is the chairman of the House Budget Committee.

State Rep. Cody Smith is the latest guest on the Politically Speaking podcast. The Carthage Republican spoke with St. Louis Public Radio’s Julie O’Donoghue about his role as House Budget chairman — and his thoughts on overhauling Missouri’s criminal justice system.

Smith was first elected to the Missouri House in 2016 in a district encompassing parts of Jasper County in southwest Missouri. He became Budget chairman after his predecessor, Scott Fitzpatrick, was appointed as state treasurer.

Here’s what Smith talked about the program:

  • Smith discussed some of the pressures that could challenge the budget, including a lawsuit filed against the Department of Corrections that may cost the state roughly $100 million.
  • He talked about the inability of the House, Senate and governor to come up with a consensus revenue estimate for the fiscal 2021 budget. Smith said there was disagreement among the parties about how much money is expected to come into the state.
  • With a ballot initiative looming, Smith provided his take on how Medicaid expansion could affect the budget-writing process. 
  • Smith explained why he was interested in criminal justice reform. He was the handler of legislation passed last year that made changes to some mandatory minimum sentences.


Smith represents the 163th District, which takes in parts of Carthage, Carl’s Junction and Oronogo. 

Follow Julie O’Donoghue on Twitter: @jsodonogue

Follow Cody Smith on Twitter: @cody4mo

Music: “2112: Overture” by Rush

Copyright 2020 St. Louis Public Radio

Since entering the world of professional journalism in 2006, Jason Rosenbaum dove head first into the world of politics, policy and even rock and roll music. A graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, Rosenbaum spent more than four years in the Missouri State Capitol writing for the Columbia Daily Tribune, Missouri Lawyers Media and the St. Louis Beacon. Since moving to St. Louis in 2010, Rosenbaum's work appeared in Missouri Lawyers Media, the St. Louis Business Journal and the Riverfront Times' music section. He also served on staff at the St. Louis Beacon as a politics reporter. Rosenbaum lives in Richmond Heights with with his wife Lauren and their two sons.
Julie O'Donoghue