Nixon calls on General Assembly to pass budget, jobs plan

(PoliticMo Photo)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Before a joint session of the General Assembly on Tuesday night, Gov. Jay Nixon called lawmakers to pass a balanced budget and accept key provisions of his new economic plan.

“We have more work to do,” Nixon said.

To address a $500 million gap, Nixon’s administration has suggested a list of cuts, including $191 million in savings from Medicaid and $89 million from higher education. Nixon said decisions to make budget cuts, he says totaling $1.6 billion over his three years, have been “tough, but necessary.”

His administration avoided making cuts to K-12 education, and actually added additional money to the school funding formula.

Republicans, responding to Nixon’s address, called on him to assist the legislature when it is working on the budget.

“In the past the Governor has been unwilling to work with the General Assembly on the budget, so tonight I renew my invitation to him to put aside differences and design a budget that respects Missouri’s priorities,” said Sen. Kurt Schaefer, Senate Budget Committee Chairman.

Nixon also encouraged lawmakers to support provisions of his “Missouri Works” initiative, which he contends will encourage more manufacturing jobs and exports, provide technological training to workers, hire more veterans, and focus on jobs in rural communities.

“From our low taxes to our strong workforce, Missouri is well positioned for job creation,” said Nixon.

Republicans said they have a legislative package of their own, which they have entitled the “Blueprint for Missouri.” The package includes changes to worker’s compensation and employment law, adjustments to the state’s second injury fund, and tort reform.

“We are committed to creating a stable business climate that allows employers to grow, expand, and create good-paying jobs,” said House Majority Leader Tim Jones.

Nixon also focused a portion of his speech on Joplin, which is recovering from the EF5 tornado that struck the town in May. Nixon welcomed Quinton Anderson, a high school student who sustained severe injuries in the tornado which also took the lives of both his parents. Nixon also recognized several first responders and Joplin Schools Superintendent CJ Huff during his remarks.

“They have shown us what it means to be strong in the toughest of times, what it means to take that extra step,” Nixon said. “I pledge to you that we will continue to work together to take that extra step and keep Missouri moving forward.”


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