Monday, June 30, 2014

Kimberling City Republican: Governor is holding the budget hostage

In his latest newsletter, Rep. Don Phillips, R-Kimberling City, criticizes the actions taken last week by Gov. Jay Nixon to balance the budget. Phillips says that is not what the governor is doing.

The Governor has an obligation to balance the budget. State revenues have fallen short of the predictions earlier in the fiscal year creating an interesting turn of events.

The Governor has already made over 200 combined vetoes and expenditure restrictions! He claims the legislative body overestimated the revenues when completing the 2015 fiscal year budget…that’s true. What he’s not telling is that we reducedmillions from his original “pie in the sky” speech during the State of the State address in which he made unrealistic budget proposals, especially in education funding. The outlandish amounts of money he originally proposed simply was not there, nor was it going to be there; however it made for a rousing speech to wanting ears.

So, he’s completely reduced the budget by at least 141.6 million in general revenue through his veto power. One report I heard yesterday said that number is now at 276 million. That money is now gone and cannot be restored; (vetoes do away with it and withholdings keep the money intact until distributed). He’s withholding another 641.6 million. Again, the latest report I’ve heard is now at 850+ million. All of this will result in hundreds of Missouri workers losing their jobs and others being without funding until he decides to release the money, assuming he does. All 100 million dollars added to help the education funding formula is being withheld. The other huge factor is that Gov. Nixon can use the withholds as a hostage… to sway legislators not to override his vetoes of several bills.

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