Friday, March 6, 2009

Missouri receives first recovery payment of $223 million today

FEB 28, 2008

Gov. Nixon opens new state funds strictly for recovery money to ensure accountability and transparency

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Gov. Jay Nixon's administration today created two new funds within the State Treasury where all federal recovery money will be deposited to ensure accountability and transparency. Gov. Nixon also announced that Missourians can track all federal recovery fund receipts and expenditures on the State's Web site, www.Transform.Mo.Gov.

"Transparency and accountability will be first and foremost when using these funds to create jobs and transform our economy, and that starts with the very first dollar," Gov. Nixon said. "We have worked with Sen. Nodler, Sen. Bray and Rep. Icet to establish a procedure for identifying these funds as they arrive, and segregating them so there will be clear accountability when they are used."

The newly created funds track the accountability measures that are called for in Senate Bill 313, which will likely be passed by the General Assembly and signed by Gov. Nixon into law in the coming days. The Governor and his administration thought it was important that these transparency measures be implemented before the funds begin to arrive, even though the General Assembly has not finished its work on this important bill.

The creation of these funds was done in preparation of the state receiving its first disbursement of recovery funds. The State of Missouri today received $223,227,955 in Budget Stabilization Funds from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; that money has been deposited in the new Federal Budget Stabilization Fund, one of the two new funds created, along with the Federal Stimulus Fund. The money received today represents an increase of 8.05% points in the federal reimbursement percentage for Missouri's Medicaid expenditures, as applied to the State's actual expenditures for October 2008 through February 2009.

"I appreciate Gov. Nixon retaining the federal funds we received today in a way that is consistent with the state Constitution and our intentions outlined in Senate Bill 313," said Senate Appropriations Chairman and bill sponsor Sen. Gary Nodler, R-Joplin. "Creating and using these funds are the best way to protect Missouri taxpayers because it makes the new federal funding separate, only lets us spend what we have, and lets taxpayers know exactly what projects and programs we invest in with this one-time funding. We will continue to work to get the bill to the Governor's desk ready for his signature as quickly as possible."

"The recovery money presents a tremendous opportunity to move our economy forward again," said bill sponsor Sen. Joan Bray, D-St. Louis. "With this money, however, comes a huge responsibility for transparency and accountability. I am glad Gov. Nixon created these funds, and I look forward to having the Governor sign Senate Bill 313 into law."

"We all appreciate that the Governor has taken the initiative to create these funds, because it will show accountability and transparency to Missouri taxpayers," said Rep. Allen Icet, R-Wildwood, Budget Chairman for the Missouri House of Representatives.

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