The Nixon administration has told state agencies where they will not be able to spend 60-million dollars in the latest round of budget with holdings. State budget director Linda Luebbering says the agencies knew this shoe was going to drop. She says the Governor Nixon announced when he signed appropriations bills passed by the legislature this year that $430-million dollars was going to have to be cut or withheld. The largest chunk of that money was money that Nixon vetoed or announced at the outset he would be with holding. This $60 million, says Luebbering, is a joint effort of her office and the agencies.
The head of the state office that oversees maintenance of and repairs to thousands of state buildings says the latest round of budget withholdings puts the mission of his agency in jeopardy. The Division of Facilities Management, Design and Construction lost almost 40 people in the last two years and stands to lose 11 more in the newest funding reductions.
State budget director Linda Luebbering admits those fears are on-target. "The things that Jeff’s shop does are the things that tend to get put off when the state’s revenue is this bad," she says. "It’s just like a family postponing some improvement or some repair to their house because they just don’t have the money."
She says budget cuts and withholdings have reached the point where the average Missourian will feel the effects–sometimes by having to wait longer in a line for a government service or to wait longer on the telephone to get a question answered, or longer for a service to be provided.