Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Missouri Gov. Parson vetoes $1 billion in projects from the state budget

Governor Mike Parson delivers his State of the State address to a joint session of the House and Senate on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2024, at the state Capitol in Jefferson City. This is Parson’s last address due to term limitations.
Eric Lee
St. Louis Public Radio
Governor Mike Parson delivers his State of the State address to a joint session of the House and Senate on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2024, at the state Capitol in Jefferson City. This is Parson’s last address due to term limitations.

This year’s budget process was criticized by Parson and lawmakers over a lack of transparency.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson on Friday vetoed $1 billion in spending from the next year's budget, including spending on education, transportation projects and state Capitol renovations.

That total is almost double the funding that Parson cut last year. In all, 173 items were struck from the $51.7 billion budget that lawmakers passed in May. The next fiscal year begins Monday.

“The use of the veto pen is not something I do eagerly, but today these vetoes represent the elimination of unnecessary pet projects and the protection of the taxpayer dime,” Parson said.

Lawmakers passed a $51.7 billion budget back in May, narrowly meeting the necessary deadline.

The governor’s office listed four main factors that led to vetoes for this budget:

  • An omnibus education bill passed and signed into law this year is expected to cost the state $400 million more annually once fully implemented.
  • Necessary increases to public school funding.
  • The legislature spent $300 million more in general revenue than Parson asked for.
  • The legislature over-appropriated too much money from the state’s Budget Stabilization Funds, which is money provided from the federal government to help states during the pandemic. 


Parson frequently cited the education omnibus bill in his veto letters for K-12 and higher education budget bills and others, too.

The cuts include $10 million for the state’s “Close the Gap” grant program and $5 million toward the University of Missouri Agricultural Extension Service.


Parson cut millions of dollars related to transportation, including two major interstate projects.

Among them, the governor vetoed $3.4 million for an environmental study of the impact of expanding Interstate 70 to three lanes in each direction.

In his veto letter on that item, Parson said that the General Assembly “grossly over-appropriated Budget Stabilization Funds” and that the state is already “investing $2.8 billion for improvements to Interstate 70.”

Parson also issued one of the largest vetoes for an I-44 improvement fund, cutting $150 million. The total remaining for this particular item is $214 million, which would pay for a number of improvement projects for I-44, while still saving some money for the next administration and legislature, Parson said in his veto letter.

The governor’s office said in a statement that within the budget is “$577.5 million to pave the way for I-44 expansion, from St. Louis to Joplin.” That expansion could include more lanes.

Securing the U.S. southern border

Also vetoed from this year’s budget is $6 million to the Missouri National Guard for southern border security. Parson reduced the allocation to $2 million.

The governor said in May that he intended to veto the funding because his office didn’t ask for it. “We don't need that money. I think that was more of a political statement, people were trying to make, to say we support that,” Parson said.

Parson also said in his veto letter that his executive order that sent Missouri National Guard Troops and Missouri Highway Patrol troopers to the Texas-Mexico border has concluded.

Capitol renovations

The largest veto within this year’s budget is a $497 million transfer for the State Capitol Commission Fund, which is used for preserving and restoring the Capitol. That particular veto almost makes up half of the total dollars Parson cut from the budget.

Parson said that without a detailed plan for the next set of renovations for the Missouri State Capitol, a full transfer of those dollars was not needed.

Other cuts

More than a fifth of all the vetoes were projects funded by the federal American Rescue Plan Act.

Some of those vetoes included $8 million for a police department training facility in O’Fallon, $11 million for a redevelopment project in Cape Girardeau and $15 million from the South Loop Project in Kansas City.

Parson said in May before he saw the final budget passed by the legislature that he believed the process this session was rushed and lacked transparency.

He also said earlier this month that he believes the state will have to pass a large supplemental budget bill during the next governor’s administration.

“I'm not going to hand-tie them to where all of a sudden they walk into office, and they don't have funding,” Parson said.

Copyright 2024 St. Louis Public Radio

Sarah Kellogg is a first year graduate student at the University of Missouri studying public affairs reporting. She spent her undergraduate days as a radio/television major and reported for KBIA. In addition to reporting shifts, Sarah also hosted KBIA’s weekly education show Exam, was an afternoon newscaster and worked on the True/False podcast. Growing up, Sarah listened to episodes of Wait Wait...Don’t Tell Me! with her parents during long car rides. It’s safe to say she was destined to end up in public radio.