Nixon Says Tobacco Money Shaky, So Now Holding Budget Money

(AP) – Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says he’s blocking the state from spending more than $46 million in order to balance the budget.
Nixon on Monday said the spending restrictions are needed because the state no longer can count on an anticipated $50 million from a tobacco settlement agreement.
The money is part of an annual payment that tobacco companies make to states under a 1998 settlement covering the costs of providing health care to those with tobacco-related illnesses.
Nixon and lawmakers banked on using the $50 million this fiscal year. But a recent appeals court ruling means that the companies don’t owe Missouri that money.
Nixon cut funding for several new programs in response. He also restricted money for a number of planned health care provider rate increases.

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