By Associated Press - Wednesday, January 6, 2021

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Gov. Mike Parson on Wednesday announced $68 million in federal aid for college construction projects and released close to $127 million he previously cut.

Parson last year blocked the state from spending nearly $450 million of its more than $35 billion budget after state finances took a hit from the coronavirus pandemic.

On Wednesday he said the state economy bounced back faster than expected, allowing much of the restricted money to now be spent.

Another $8.6 million is now available for state tourism, as well as $9.4 million for work programs for low-income families who receive state financial help.

Newly released funding also includes $14 million for state colleges and universities and more than $9 million for community colleges.

The state funding for colleges and universities is coupled with another $68 million from the federal government for Missouri schools to fix up old buildings. Parson said the money for university construction projects also will help put people back to work.

St. Louis Community College in Forest Park also received a $4 million federal grant to open an on-site childcare center for the first time.

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