Greetings Friends of the 144th!
The members of the House and Senate are taking a few extra days to prepare before starting work in a special session called by Gov. Mike Parson. This special session was schedule to start this week and now it has been pushed to next week to coincide with veto session and flow into the following week.
Leadership from both chambers met recently to discuss the best path forward to secure passage of a legislative package that will provide historic tax relief for Missourians and support for the agriculture industry. That meeting led to both chambers making the decision to postpone the start of the session by a week. My hope is that we will be able to come up with a plan that everyone can support that will bring a permanent tax relief to citizens and support our agriculture industry.
State’s Revenue Numbers Remain Healthy
The state of Missouri continues to receive good news as its economy remains healthy and its revenue numbers continue to grow. The most recent number shows the state saw a strong increase in revenues for the month of August.
During the month of August the state collected approximately $1.01 billion. That number is up 4.7 percent from August of 2021 when the state collected $962.2 million. For the Fiscal Year 2023 that began July 1, the state has now collected a total of $1.98 billion, which represents an increase of 18.9 percent compared to the same time last year when the state had collected a total of $1.66 billion.
September is College Savings Month
Parents in Missouri are being encouraged to set funds aside for the future educational needs of their children. September is College Savings Month, which is meant to promote the importance of saving for higher education by utilizing a 529 account.
Missouri’s 529 Education Plan, which is known as MOST, is administered by the Missouri State Treasurer’s Office. Money in MOST accounts can be used to pay for K-12 tuition and apprenticeships, trade, college, and graduate school tuition and expenses, and up to $10,000 of student loan repayment. Contributions are eligible for state tax deductions and assets in MOST 529 accounts grow tax-free.
In partnership with the MOST 529 Education Plan and Sallie Mae, Fitzpatrick will host a webinar providing information about saving for higher education and finding scholarship opportunities. Maximizing Your Money While Paying for Higher Education will take place on Wednesday, September 28 at 6 p.m. The free virtual event will feature speakers from Sallie Mae, a nationwide consumer banking institution specializing in private student loans, and MOST, Missouri’s 529 Education Plan. Those who wish to participate can register at https://www.missourimost.org/.
Missourians can also visit the State Treasurer’s Financial Literacy Portal for information about saving for higher education and paying for higher education, as well as games and activities focused on financial literacy for children and high school students. Information for adults and recent college graduates about understanding credit, budgeting, and retirement is also available on the portal. The Financial Literacy Portal can be accessed at https://treasurer.mo.gov/financial-literacy/.
As always, please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions, concerns, or suggestions you might have. As your Representative, I am here to assist you however I can. I can be reached by email at Chris.Dinkins@house.mo.gov or by phone at 573-751-2112. Please do not contact me via social media. These messages are easy to overlook and may not be responded to in a timely manner.