Thursday, January 29, 2009

Flanigan offers views on State of the State message

In his weekly column, 127th District State Representative Tom Flanigan offered his views on the governor's State of the State message:

This week, in his State of the State address, Governor Jay Nixon revealed his budget plans for the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2009.

The Missouri Constitution charges the Governor to “submit to the general assembly a budget for the ensuing appropriation period, containing the estimated available revenues of the state and a complete and itemized plan of proposed expenditures of the state and all its agencies, together with his recommendations of any laws necessary to provide revenues sufficient to meet the expenditures.” Missouri Constitution Article IV, Section 24.

The Committee on Budget then has the responsibility of filing all appropriation bills, assigning of those bills to the appropriate appropriations committees. They shall report upon all bills recommended to it by the respective appropriation committee and any other bills, measures, or questions referred to it pertaining to the appropriation and disbursement of public money. After the General Assembly passes this finalized budget, the “Governor may control the rate at which any appropriation is expended during the period of the appropriation by allotment or other means, and may reduce the expenditures of the state or any of its agencies below their appropriations whenever the actual revenues are less than the revenue estimates upon which the appropriations were based.” Missouri Constitution Article IV, Section 27.

As the Governor Nixon’s budget details begin to roll out, a clear picture of the direction in which the Governor wishes to move the state will emerge. A quick examination reveals that the state’s economic situation is serious. The Governor has proposed cutting over 1,300 state jobs and shutting down or eliminating over 50 state programs. Many of those proposed job cuts come from the Department of Corrections, Highway & Transportation Department, and the Department of Conservation.

As a member of the House Budget Committee, I will be working to assure the people of Jasper County that our tax money is properly accounted for and responsibility budgeted.

Also this week, I joined with 129 other members of the House to reject a pay hike for judges and members of the General Assembly. It was and will continue to be the right thing to do.

No comments: