As the House Budget Committee worked to finalize its recommendation for the Fiscal Year 2020 state operating budget, Lakes Area State Rep. Brad Hudson was able to secure additional funding for tourism efforts in Missouri. Hudson was able to allocate an additional $1.5 million for the Missouri Division of Tourism, which helps promote the state of Missouri as a travel destination.
The version of HB 5 recommended by House Budget Committee Chairman Cody Smith included $16 million in funding for tourism, which is the amount of funding that was allocated in the previous fiscal year. Hudson made a compelling argument to his colleagues on the committee to increase the funding by $1.5 million, and his amendment was adopted.
“Supporting tourism makes good sense not just for Southwest Missouri, but for our state as a whole. This vital industry helps generate an estimated 1.4 billion dollars of revenue, which serves to offset the tax burden of our local citizens. We also see a huge benefit in our employments levels as 300,000 Missourians are directly employed in the tourism industry,” said Hudson, R-Cape Fair.
House Bill 5 and the other appropriations bills that make up the state budget were approved by the House Budget Committee on earlier this week. The bills will now move to the House floor where they will be debated by the entire body during the week of March 25-29.
Hudson said he will continue to fight to keep the increased funding for tourism in the budget as the bill makes its way through the House and Senate.