Missouri lawmakers returned to work Thursday to debate spending more than $1.1 billion in federal coronavirus aid.

COLUMBIA — Missouri lawmakers returned to work Thursday to debate spending more than $1.1 billion in federal coronavirus aid. 

Republican Gov. Mike Parson called lawmakers back to the Capitol to give his administration the authority to spend the federal funding. 

Some of the money at stake includes a $135 million federal grant for testing, contact tracing, lab equipment and data collection. The money can't be spent without lawmaker approval. 

Parson also asked lawmakers to set aside some state taxpayer dollars, including $10 million to help continue funding the Missouri National Guard's work conducting COVID-19 testing. 

In total, Parson is asking lawmakers to budget another more than $1.2 billion.