Accusations are flying in the wake of the Missouri House defeat of House Bill 22 – legislation authorizing the spending a lot of federal stimulus dollars. The accusations come from Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder, who insists Governor Jay Nixon played a role in the defeat of the bill.
"We now believe it can be confirmed that the Governor asked certain Democratic lawmakers to work to defeat this measure," said Kinder. "And there should be some answers given by the Governor of this state for that."
Kinder points to this information coming from House Democrats.
"It is now an open secret from unimpeachable sources in the Democratic caucus and throughout the House of Representatives’ staff," said Kinder. "That the Governor sent signals that he wanted this bill defeated."
Asked why the Governor might embark on this course of action, Kinder said that would be a question best directed at Governor Nixon.
As the Governor left a Capitol Rotunda ceremony and headed to an elevator to return to his office, he was asked about the demise of the legislation and any role he might have played in it. The Governor said he had been in his office all morning and would comment after he had had an opportunity to look at the vote.
Asked specifically whether he had talked to House Democrats to suggest they kill the bill, he replied, "I didn’t have any significant discussions on this particular bill. I have remained concerned that we make sure that we have the resources available to fund government in years to come."
Kinder expresses concern that there is a good deal of money in this bill to fund the St. Louis Metro transit system. He says failure to pass this bill will hurt the entire St. Louis metropolitan region and, in turn, hurt the state.
There is a chance the bill could be revived or could be attached to another piece of legislation making its way through the General Assembly.