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Missouri state Rep. Peter Merideth thinks federal COVID dollars could be left on the table

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Rep. Peter Merideth, D-St. Louis, speaks at a podium to press members during a news conference
Sarah Kellogg
St. Louis Public Radio
Democratic Rep. Peter Merideth, D-St. Louis, photographed last month, discussed the lack of progress on the billions of federal coronavirus relief dollars Missouri must allocate by the end of 2024. Merideth says he's excited over what the state could do with this money, though he's worried some funding could go unspent.

The Missouri legislature has a larger-than-normal to-do list when it comes to the state budget.

Not only does it have to pass its usual annual budget along with a supplemental one, legislators also are responsible for an additional supplemental budget and deciding how to allocate billions of federal dollars from the American Rescue Plan Act.

On this week’s episode of Politically Speaking, state Rep. Peter Merideth, D-St. Louis, talks about the Missouri budget, along with other legislation the House has passed.

Here’s some of what Merideth talked about on the show:

  • The status of the Missouri legislature, including the dysfunction happening in the Senate. Merideth said it isn’t uncommon for the Senate to come to a standstill, but he feels this year’s lack of action so far is unprecedented.
  • His support of a Senate committee decision to back Gov. Mike Parson’s original proposal for state worker raises. The House had modified that plan so not all workers would have received a $15-an-hour-minimum wage. 
  • The billions of federal dollars Missouri lawmakers will have to allocate by the end of 2024. Merideth said more should have been done by now, and he worries money will be left on the table.
  • The series of proposed constitutional amendments the House has already advanced or at least given first-round approval. In addition to opposing the proposed amendments, Merideth also is against how they are worded, believing they are set up to trick voters.

Voters first elected Merideth to serve in the House in 2016. He represents the 80th District, which includes parts of south and central St. Louis.

Follow Sarah Kellogg on Twitter: @sarahkellogg

Follow Peter Merideth on Twitter: @PeterforMO

Sarah Kellogg has been the Missouri Statehouse and politics reporter for St. Louis Public Radio since 2021.

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