Nixon to KC Friday After Releasing Funds Following Veto Session
September 12, 2014

(AP) – Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon freed $143 million of previously frozen education funding Thursday, after lawmakers sustained many of his vetoes of business tax breaks that Nixon had denounced as potential budget-busters.

The demise of the tax-break legislation allowed Nixon to claim at least a partial victory in an annual veto session that nonetheless shattered the Missouri record for the number of veto overrides.

The Republican-led Legislature, often aided by some of Nixon’s fellow Democrats, overrode 47 line-item budget vetoes and 10 other bills during a session that stretched from Wednesday into early Thursday.

The overrides included high-profile measures imposing a 72-hour waiting period for abortions and creating a special training program for teachers to carry guns in classrooms. Earlier this year, lawmakers also overrode Nixon’s veto of a bill cutting the state’s income tax rate for the first time in almost a century.

This year alone, lawmakers overrode nearly twice as many vetoes as had previously been overridden in the past 194 years, dating back to when Missouri was not yet even a state. The previous single-year high of 12 veto overrides occurred in 1833 when only a simple majority – instead of the current two-thirds vote – was required. All of those 1833 vetoes dealt with divorces for couples, something that is no longer a legislative duty.

Nixon did not focus on the historic nature of his veto overrides Thursday. He instead issued a press release touting his “successful effort to defeat a package of special interest tax breaks.”

Although lawmakers overrode two of Nixon tax-related vetoes, they sustained his vetoes of eight other tax measures, including ones that would have created sales tax breaks for electric companies, computer data centers, fitness clubs and restaurants.

Nixon had asserted the measures could have zapped hundreds of millions of dollars of state and local revenues and had cited that in June as one of the reasons he froze $846 million of spending and vetoed an additional $276 million of items from the budget that took effect July 1. An unforeseen decline in state revenues also played a significant role in the cuts.

Nixon had said at the time that he would release some of the money, starting with education funding, if lawmakers sustained his vetoes of the tax-break measures.

He followed through on that Thursday by releasing a $100 million funding increase for K-12 schools and a $43 million increase for public colleges and universities that he had previously frozen.

“I thank members of the General Assembly for taking a closer look at these (tax-break) bills, listening to their constituents and standing with their schools,” Nixon said in a written statement.

State budget director Linda Luebbering said Nixon could decide soon whether to release any of the additional $700 million of spending that he still has on hold. Nixon also could use his budget-balancing powers to freeze the $53 million of line-item vetoes that lawmakers overrode.

During debate, some lawmakers who supported the veto overrides said they expected Nixon to still block the spending.

“The governor’s going to withhold them all,” said Rep. Chris Kelly, a Democrat from Columbia.

Veto Session: Abortion Bill Wait Period at Center Stage Bill
September 9, 2014

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Already among the leaders in abortion restrictions, Missouri could be poised to enact one of the nation’s longest mandatory waiting periods for women wanting to terminate a pregnancy.

Missouri legislators are to convene Wednesday for a session devoted to veto overrides, and Republican leaders say they are confident they will overrule Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of a 72-hour abortion waiting period. The measure contains no exception for cases of rape or incest — an intentional omission Nixon denounced as “extreme and disrespectful.”

About half the states, including Missouri, already require abortion waiting periods of 24 hours.

The legislation would make Missouri’s law the second most stringent behind South Dakota, where its 72-hour wait can sometimes extend even longer because weekends and holidays are not counted. Utah is the only other state with a 72-hour delay, but it grants exceptions for rape, incest and other circumstances.

Nixon To Lawmakers on VetO Session: “We Don’t Have the Money for All This Stuff”
September 5, 2014

(AP) – Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon sought to dissuade lawmakers Thursday from overriding millions of dollars of line-item budget vetoes, asserting bluntly: “We don’t have the money for all this stuff.”

Nixon’s comments came as lawmakers are preparing to meet next week to consider overriding 136 line-item vetoes totaling nearly $145 million in general revenue spending and $131 million from federal dollars and other revenue sources. Lawmakers also will consider whether to override Nixon’s vetoes on dozens of other bills, including ones offering tax breaks to businesses, imposing additional abortion restrictions and allowing specially trained teachers to carry guns in classrooms.

The Democratic governor said that if the Republican-led Legislature votes to override his budget vetoes, it “would put Missouri on a permanent path to living beyond our means.”

“Now is just not the time to grow government,” he said.

The $26.4 million budget passed by lawmakers in May included numerous spending increases under an assumption that Missouri tax revenues would continue to rebound from the Great Recession, but revenues instead declined in 2014. A week after lawmakers passed the budget, they also passed a series of bills offering tax breaks to particular businesses, such as electric companies, fitness clubs and computer data centers.

Nixon vetoed the tax breaks, saying they would bust a hole in the budget. And before the fiscal year began July 1, he announced the line-item budget vetoes and froze hundreds of millions of additional dollars of spending – including for public schools and universities – to guard against the potential that legislators would override his veto of the tax breaks

Nixon to Offer ‘Border War’ Solution in KC Speech
November 12, 2013

(AP) – Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is announcing a plan to end a business “border war” with Kansas over economic development.

Both states have used economic incentives and bonds to compete for businesses to locate or expand. Missouri and Kansas have committed hundreds of millions of dollars to the efforts.

Nixon planned to announce his proposal Tuesday in a speech to the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. He says it will promote growth in the Kansas City region.

Kansas lawmakers cut taxes in each of their past two sessions, at the urging of Republican Gov. Sam Brownback.

Missouri’s Republican-dominated Legislature approved tax cuts this year largely in response to the Kansas cuts. But Nixon, a Democrat, vetoed the measure, and an effort to override the veto fell short in September.

Missouri Lawmakers, the ” Famous 15″, Invited to Post-Veto Session Pow-Wow
September 19, 2013

The 15 Missouri Republicans who bucked House Speaker Tim Jones, voting to sustain Governor Jay Nixon’s veto of the tax cut bill, House Bill 253, have been been invited to a meeting Friday, according to the Missouri Times.
The website says Rep Lynn Morris of Nixa addressed the invitation to the ‘Famous 15’. It says the meeting will be co-hosted by Republic State Rep. Jeff Messenger.Both are Republicans.
Republican efforts to override Nixon’s veto of the GOP’s legislative center piece came up short last week. The measure to override. Drew fewer votes in the Republican-dominated House than when the bill was first passed in the Legislature this spring.
House Speaker John Diehl, Missouri GOP Executive Director Shane Schoeller and Grow Missouri Treasurer Aaron Willard have also been invited.
The intent of the meeting is to “share ideas on how to handle this situation,” according to Morris based on an e-mail obtained by the Missouri Times.
Earlier, another Republican who voted to sustain the veto, Kirksville Republican Nate Walker criticized House Speaker Tim Jones saying the tax cut bill and the 15 GOP votes were sacrificed by by Jones for his plans to run for Attorney General in 2016.