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Pandemic Hasn't Been As Bad As Expected To Missouri Finances

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KSMU - Ozarks Public Radio
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A year ago, Gov. Mike Parson and other state leaders were bracing for the worst, acknowledging that the coronavirus pandemic could devastate Missouri’s finances.

The pandemic has really hurt the state economy and cost thousands of people their lives or livelihoods, but the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the impact has been so much less damaging than expected that Parson freed up the last chunk of money he had cut from the budget in preparation for tough financial times.

Unemployment is at 5.7%, which is far better than many imagined, and the state has been helped by $3.8 million in federal stimulus money. Parson has drawn criticism for his hands-off approach to the pandemic, but argues that it worked.