Leaders in the Missouri House complain that Governor Nixon’s office isn’t communicating with them very well.
Two actions by Governor Nixon have those leaders concerned. Nixon put on hold an $80 million contract with Motorola to modernize and standardize the state emergency communication system without informing the legislature. The governor also held news conference with college officials across the state, pledging not to cut funding to higher education in the upcoming budget. In exchange, the college officials promised not to raise tuition. Nixon didn’t discuss his decision with lawmakers before making the announcement in a series of news conference.
The slight that hasn’t gone unnoticed by House Majority Floor Leader Steven Tilley (R-Perryville), who says communication is a two-way street.
“We would hope that if the governor is going to make big decisions like that, he (would) contact the Speaker and discuss it with us,” Tilley says. “I think that would be a reasonable request.”
House Speaker Ron Richard (R-Joplin) hopes communication with the governor’s office improves after the State of the State address.
“We’re looking forward to a dialogue with him,” Richard says, “We know he’s busy. We just hope we are part of the conversation.”
House Republican Whip Brian Nieves (R-Washington) points to a fundamental of government.
“The people elected the legislature, just like they elected the governor,” says Nieves. “We would like to see some more communication between his office and us. We’re looking forward to that improving the next couple of weeks.”
Nixon delivers his first State of the State address to a joint session of the legislature Tuesday evening. The 7 o’clock speech will be broadcast on many Missourinet affiliates