Missouri Senate sends bill funding Texas border deployment to governor

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

A bill dedicating $2.2 million to support deployment of Missouri National Guard soldiers and State Highway Patrol troopers to Texas for border security on Wednesday became the first bill sent this year to Gov. MIke Parson.

In February, Parson announced he would send 200 soldiers and 11 troopers to work with Texas law enforcement at the request of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. He asked for the money to avoid dipping into emergency funds allocated for disasters or other events within the state.

The bill, which passed the House almost six weeks ago, encountered little opposition as it passed 30-2, but it did bring a round of questions from state Sen. Denny Hoskins, a Warrensburg Republican who was stripped of his seat on the Senate Appropriations Committee earlier this year.

Hoskins wanted to know the living arrangements for the deployed personnel and what $91,000 set aside for vehicle purchases was buying.

The $91,000 paid for four vans, three trucks and a car for use by the soldiers while in Texas, Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Lincoln Hough said. The state general revenue fund is also reimbursing the road fund, which pays most of the costs of the patrol, for the mileage racked up on trooper cars driven to Texas, Hough said.

Hoskins seemed satisfied with the answers. He told Hough he was using floor time to ask questions he would have asked if he was still a member of the appropriations committee.

“I want to make sure we have enough money in here to cover their expenses,” Hoskins said.

The spending bill is to cover the cost of the deployment during the remainder of the fiscal year, which ends June 30. The budget for the coming year, which is awaiting votes in Hough’s committee, includes $8.8 million for a full year of deployment.

Hough said the committee will vote on the budget next week, with Senate floor debate the following week.

Lawmakers have until May 10 to complete work on spending bills.

This story was first published at www.missouriindependent.com.

This article originally appeared on Springfield News-Leader: Missouri Senate sends Texas border deployment bill to Gov. Parson