Lawmakers & Nixon Arguing About Budget Estimates Again
January 25, 2016

(AP) – Republican lawmakers are raising concerns about Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon’s request to add almost half a billion dollars more to this year’s budget.
Budget officials said Medicaid accounted for about three-quarters of the budget request. Some senators asked how earlier estimates had been short by hundreds of millions of dollars.
Department of Social Services Director Brian Kinkade said more people had signed up for Medicaid than expected, and hospital visits and drug prices had increased.
Appropriation committee chairman Sen. Kurt Schaefer said this was the largest mid-year budget addition he’s ever seen. He says budget additions have become routine and are being used to increase Medicaid spending without public discussion.
Nixon is asking to add $496 million to the $26 billion budget that ends June 30.

Nixon Signs Municipal Court Reforms
July 9, 2015

(AP) – Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon signed legislation Thursday limiting cities’ ability to profit from traffic tickets and court fines – the first significant step taken by state lawmakers to address concerns raised after the police shooting of a black, unarmed 18-year-old in Ferguson nearly a year ago.
Nixon announced the bill in an ornate courtroom of the Missouri Court of Appeals in downtown St. Louis, near the suburb where white Officer Darren Wilson fatally shot Michael Brown, setting off protests that occasionally turned violent.
Brown was walking in the street, not driving, when he was stopped by Wilson last August and scuffled with the officer. A U.S. Justice Department investigation cleared Wilson of wrongdoing in Brown’s death, and a state grand jury declined to bring charges.
Supporters of the legislation have said it will address the predatory revenue-generating practices of Ferguson’s police and court system that were detailed in a Justice Department report.
Some protesters said the generally white police force’s treatment of the predominantly black community led to longstanding frustrations and racial tensions. The use of police to collect revenue through traffic fines and court fees added to that distrust, according to some residents and legal advocates.
“This landmark legislation will return our municipal courts to their intended purpose: serving our citizens and protecting the public,” said Nixon, who was flanked by lawmakers and black residents. “That means, under this bill, cops will stop being revenue agents and go back to being cops – investigating crimes, protecting the public and keeping dangerous criminals off the streets.”

Nixon Says Without Tax Credit Reform Tax Cuts Are “Nonstarter”
March 27, 2014

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon says the proposed tax cut now being considered by the Missouri legislature may be a “nonstarter”.
Nixon issued a statement Thursday saying he’s not interested in a tax cut package unless there are reforms to the state’s tax credits system.
“There is overwhelming evidence and bipartisan consensus on the need to rein in wasteful tax credit expenditures,” Nixon said in a statement.
Earlier this week, Republican State Auditor Tom Schweich was also critical of some tax credit programs.
A scaled down tax cut package was approved by the State Senate earlier this week. That was sponsored by lee’s Summit republican Will Kraus.
“Until the General Assembly takes action to protect Missouri taxpayers and reform this out of control spending,” Nixon said, “ discussion of tax cuts is a nonstarter”.

Nixon on Shutdown: Settle it Quickly
October 1, 2013

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon says Missouri may weather a short federal government shutdown, but a. Lengthy shutdown will be bad news for the state, according to Nixon.
Tuesday afternoon, Nixon issued a statement on the situation.

“We have been following developments in Washington closely, and will continue to work to assess and minimize the impact on state agencies and the services they provide,” Gov. Nixon said. “Here in Missouri, we reach across the aisle to balance budgets, control spending and protect our AAA credit rating. However, a prolonged shutdown will put jobs at risk and undermine confidence in our economy, so I urge folks in Washington to put an end to the gridlock and start working together to move our country forward.”

State Supremes Rule for Nixon on Budget Withholding Battle
October 1, 2013

(AP) – The Missouri Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Gov. Jay Nixon in a budget battle with State Auditor Tom Schweich.

The court ruled Tuesday that Schweich did not have legal standing to challenge about $170 million of spending cuts announced by Nixon in June 2011.

The cuts to education and other services were based partly on the expectation that Missouri would incur millions of dollars of unbudgeted costs from a deadly tornado that hit Joplin a month earlier. As it turns out, the Joplin costs came in lower than expected.

The Supreme Court said Schweich’s challenge to the governor’s budget-cutting authority amounted to a pre-audit of state spending. The court says the auditor does not have such powers.

Gov. Nixon released the following statement in response to the ruling:
"In unanimously rejecting this lawsuit, the Missouri Supreme Court has confirmed once again that Missouri governors have the authority and the responsibility to rein in spending and keep the budget in balance – and over the past four and a half years, that is exactly what we have done," Gov. Nixon said. "Even during tough economic times, the executive authority provided by our Constitution – and reaffirmed again by the Court today – has allowed us to maintain strict fiscal discipline and protect Missouri’s perfect AAA credit rating. At a time of continued fiscal turmoil in Washington, this strong constitutional framework is vital to keeping our budget in balance and our economy moving forward."

Schweich released the following statement after the ruling:
"The Supreme Court effectively ruled that we filed our suit too soon. The Court dismissed our suit without prejudice to re-file. That leaves us with two options: do a post audit of the Governor’s office now and file suit, or work with the Legislature to restrict the ability of the Governor to make withholds when there exists adequate revenues to fully fund the budget. We will spend the next several days determining which option to pursue, or whether to pursue both options."