JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – Republican lawmakers are raising concerns about Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon’s request to add almost half a billion dollars more to this year’s budget.
Budget officials said Medicaid accounted for about three-quarters of the budget request. Some senators asked how earlier estimates had been short by hundreds of millions of dollars.
Department of Social Services Director Brian Kinkade said more people had signed up for Medicaid than expected, and hospital visits and drug prices had increased.
Appropriation committee chairman Sen. Kurt Schaefer said this was the largest mid-year budget addition he’s ever seen. He says budget additions have become routine and are being used to increase Medicaid spending without public discussion.
Nixon is asking to add $496 million to the $26 billion budget that ends June 30.