Missouri Budget Finishes Short of Estimate for FY
July 2, 2014

(AP) – Missouri may soon need to dip into its reserves in order to pay its bills.

Figures released Wednesday show that Missouri ended its 2014 fiscal year with a 1 percent decline in revenues compared with the previous year.

But the shortfall is larger when compared to the growth that had been projected. The roughly $8 billion in general revenues was $308 million short of what Gov. Jay Nixon’s administration projected and $241 million short of what the Legislature forecast.

That means the state has started its new fiscal year with less money in the bank than normal.

Nixon budget director Linda Luebbering says the state likely will have to dip into its reserves in July for cash-flow purposes.

Nixon Vetoes or Freezes $1.1 Billion, Silvey Calls It a “Game”
June 24, 2014

Clay County Republican Ryan Silvey, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, accused Governor Jay Nixon of playing “political games’ with his budget vetoes and freezes Tuesday.
The Governor vetoed of froze more than $1.1 in the state budget Tuesday. He said the set of tax breaks and credits passed in the finals hours of the Legislative by the Republican majority were to blame.
Nixon has repeatedly call more than $700 million in last minute tax measures. He frequently calls them, the ‘Friday Favors” because on they were passed on the final day of the session, a Friday.
Nixon says those tax bills put the state budget “dangerously out of balance.”
Silvey said of the tax bills, “these are taxes that we hadn’t collected on a number of things in the past,” he added, “to say we’re giving up revenue we’ve never collected? It’s a political game”.
Nixon also line-item vetoed $100 million of the $114 million in added money for the state’s school foundation formula.
Assistant Democratic Minority Leader, Kansas City’s Gail Beatty, defended the Governor’s actions.
She said he has a constitutional duty to have a balanced budget.
She said, however, she was surprised the Governor did what he did to the education budget.
“I hate that we have to pit our kids against, often times, big business, ”Beatty said.
The Governor said he would restore some of the money that he has restricted now, if the lawmakers sustain his vetoed in September.

Nixon Says More Cuts Could Be Coming as GOP Plots Override
June 12, 2014

(AP) — Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed a package of special sales tax breaks Wednesday for Missouri power companies, restaurants, computer data centers and others, setting up another showdown with a Republican-led Legislature that already has triumphed over him on a historic income tax cut.

Nixon denounced the tax break measures as a “grab bag of generous giveaways” providing “secret sweetheart deals” and “special interest favors” that could bust a $425 million hole in the state budget while also jeopardizing hundreds of millions of dollars of local tax revenues.

While vetoing 10 bills, Nixon also said he would make “dramatic spending reductions” in the coming weeks to guard against the potential for lawmakers to enact the tax breaks by overriding his objections during their September session.

“My vetoes today are the first step toward restoring fiscal sanity to a budget process that has gone off the rails,” Nixon said at a Capitol news conference.

Some Republican lawmakers and business groups immediately vowed to pursue veto overrides. They disputed Nixon’s cost projections and defended the bills as a mixture of important business incentives and mere clarifications of existing tax policies that they contend have been misinterpreted by the courts and Nixon’s administration.

“By vetoing these bills, he has reemphasized the fact that the focus of his tax and spend administration is on growing the size of government rather than growing our economy,” said House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka.

Republicans hold a two-thirds majority required for veto overrides in the Senate and are one seat short of that threshold in the House. But the GOP is likely to gain seats when special elections are held in August for four vacant House districts.

Missouri House Budget Bill HasMoney for KC GOP Convo Bid
May 2, 2014

(AP) – The Missouri House has passed a budget plan for various projects around the state, including new college buildings and seed money for a possible Republican National Convention.

The House voted 137-9 on Thursday to send the measure to the Senate. It includes funding for new voting machines and campus projects where costs are split evenly between the state and school.

Democrats criticized the bill because it includes $4 million for a Missouri city to host a national political party convection. Kansas City is a finalist to host the Republican gathering in 2016.

The spending plan also includes $38 million for a new engineering facility at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Lawmakers have until May 9 to pass all budget-related bills.

Missouri Senate Passes It’s Version of Budget
April 29, 2014

(AP) – The Missouri Senate endorsed a budget plan Monday that ensures a funding increase for public education but will require negotiations with the House to hammer out the final specifics.

The plan provides a larger funding increase to public colleges and universities than the version approved by the House earlier this year, though it has a slightly smaller increase to public K-12 school districts. Those differences are among the many variations that will have to be resolved by House and Senate negotiators before a May 9 deadline to pass a final version of the 2015 budget.

The $26.8 billion budget in front of the Republican-led Legislature is about $900 million lighter than Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon recommended in January, largely because lawmakers have rejected his recommendations to tap into billions of federal dollars to expand Medicaid eligibility to an estimated 300,000 lower-income adults.

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