Despite plenty of talk about budget cuts once again during this session, state lawmakers are on track to approve an increase in total spending.
The constitutional deadline for lawmakers in the Missouri General Assembly to approve a budget for next fiscal year lands next week on Friday.
In the end, the budget plan is likely to end around $1 billion higher than proposed by the governor or more than $800 million more than lawmakers appropriated for this fiscal year, ending June 30.
If the $24.1 billion plan being negotiated by lawmakers is approved, year-over-year spending would increase by 3.5 percent compared to the $23.3 billion appropriated for the current fiscal year.
Spending will increase almost 5 percent this fiscal year if all of the appropriations are spent.
Throughout the last 30 years, total expenditures have dropped year-over-year only three times, while total spending has increased 468 percent from $3.9 billion in 1981 to $22.2 billion during 2011.