Missouri Farm Bureau discusses State budget problems at annual Legislative conference

(Note: It looks like the out-of-control spending has gotten some attention!)

February 26, 2003

Texas County (Missouri) Farm Bureau News Release

Contact:

Bob Parker, information chairman for Texas County Farm Bureau.

417-457-6111

The Missouri Farm Bureau met on February 24th and 25th for their annual commodity and legislative conference.

Speakers at the conference that was held in Jefferson City included several State Senators including Sen. Sara Steelman-Rolla, Senator Peter Kinder, and Sen. David Klindt.

Senators Steelman and Klindt discussed bills that they have recently introduced such as Klindt's bill SB 36, which would require Missouri Department of Natural Resources to conduct cost-benefit analysis and risk assessment on proposed regulations.

Sen. Steelman's bill excludes small gravel miners and landowners from applying for permits for gravel removal as long as they follow state guidelines.

Gravel mining permits have tripled in cost recently.

Speakers also included Missouri Chamber of Commerce Director of Fiscal Affairs Ray McCarty.

Mr. McCarty disclosed some interesting facts on taxes and spending [go to http://www.MoChamber.org for more details] by the state Government in Missouri which include the following;

a.. 350 % increase in state revenue since 1980; taxes and fees have risen dramatically.

b.. Government spending has increased an average of $786 million annually since 1986, much higher than the federal rate.

c.. State spending has nearly tripled since 1986!

d.. State spending has increased from $8.3 Billion in 1992 to $15.4 billion in 2001. Nearly doubling in the last 10 years.

e.. Taxes on small business has risen dramatically since the passage of Sen. Bill 380 in 1993.

f.. Missouri added 9,951 new full time employees to the state payroll from 1992 to fiscal year 2000, a 20% increase.

g.. Missouri Department of Natural Resources spending has increased from 22 million in 1982 to over 120 million in 2002.

h.. Department of Conservation spending increased from 60 million in 1982 to 140 million in 2002.

i.. In 2001, more than 27 million was transferred from 230 special purpose funds to general revenue -- in [clear] violation of state law.

j.. Social Services spending has increased from less than 1 billion in 1982 -- to over $5.75 Billion in 2002.

k.. Operating costs for social services have skyrocketed since fiscal year 2000, nearly doubling in the year 2000 alone.

l.. Operating costs for Missouri state government nearly quadrupled -- from $1.7 Billion in 1982 to $6.4 Billion in 2002.

m.. Operating costs for the Department of Transportation increased from $400 million in 1999 to $1.7 billion in 2002.

Texas County Farm Bureau leader Bob Parker from Raymondville -- who farms 380 acres of timber and pastureland -- attended this years conference representing Texas County.

Bob comments, ''It is always a learning experience to attend this conference. I thought the information provided by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce was pretty shocking to most of us at the conference. Some of our elected officials just keep talking about how the state needs more money to fund education and other programs and don't talk about cutting taxes or spending. When you see the facts on what has been going on it makes me angry. When will the outrageous taxing and spending that is going on in Jefferson City stop? We keep hearing about how Education is number one and then it is always the first thing the legislators want to cut when they run out of money. If they would spend their money wisely they would have enough money to take care of Education and other priorities. We don't have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem. We've seen this game long enough.''

Parker continues, ''Farmers and business people know the problem in Jefferson City is that Legislators can't manage money and they have not been truthful with the voters on how much they have been taxing and spending. I applaud the Missouri Chamber of Commerce for their hard work to educate people on what's been happening. It's time for the folks in Missouri to get really mad about what has been going on. In the last few years we have seen unprecedented taxing and spending in Missouri. Jobs are leaving the state in droves because of taxes, the out of control regulatory climate, and many other issues. We also learned about a whole new bunch of regulations that will be impacting farmers and ranchers in state shortly. It just makes you wonder when it will stop? Many of the regulations imposed by Missouri Department of Natural Resources are stricter than federal EPA regulations. It's time to get mad and do something about it.''