When we talk about Missouri’s state operating budget, we tend to focus on the three largest areas of spending: social services, education and transportation. But other parts of the budget are just as important. For example, consider the funding allocated to our state departments of Public Safety and Corrections. Though these two departments compromise only 5 percent of the state budget for the 2020 fiscal year, they are vital to keeping Missourians safe and secure.
The Department of Public Safety oversees all state level law enforcement and public safety agencies, helping them coordinate with their local and federal counterparts whenever necessary. Some of these agencies include: the Missouri National Guard, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Missouri Gaming Commission, the Office of the State Fire Marshal, the Missouri Capitol Police, the State Emergency Management Agency and the Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Control. Without the service of the hardworking men and women in these agencies, crime would skyrocket, roads would be less safe and disasters would be more deadly.
The Department of Corrections supervises the state prison population, maintaining incarceration facilities, providing rehabilitative services and organizing programs for probation and parole. I’m happy to say that, in addition to providing pay increases for all state employees, the 2020 budget includes additional raises for corrections officers. This should help us retain our most talented employees, who do their best day in and day out to keep Missourians safe.
As always, please feel free to call, email or write with your ideas or concerns. My Capitol office number is 573-751-1415, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org and my mailing address is Room 332, State Capitol Building, Jefferson City, MO 65101.
Dan Hegeman is the 12th District State Senator.