Governor Nixon is winding up his first year in office.

Governor Nixon easily won election in November of 2008, taking office in January of this year. He says he listens more now as governor than when he served as the state’s chief advocate, the Attorney General, for four terms. Nixon says people seem eager to speak with him, give their opinion on how to move the state forward.

“People want to see this state succeed and the governor embodies the state,” Nixon tells the Missourinet.

Nixon is proud of several accomplishments this first year. He points out that funding for public education not only hasn’t been cut, but has been increased despite a difficult budgetary year. State university officials have agreed to hold the line on tuition increases in exchange for a promise from Nixon to not recommend cuts deeper than 5%. The Caring for Missourians program, which provides money for health-care education, is another success, according to Nixon. He also points to targeted small business tax cuts and the phasing out of taxes on veteran pensions.

A drastic drop in state revenue forced him to cut $634 million from the state budget.

“You have a lot of good advisers and you get a lot of advice. But the room gets quiet and the governor makes a lot of decisions,” Nixon says. “But I feel comfortable and confident that my years of service, my dedication to the state and to this responsibility means that even in those difficult times I draw strength from knowing that the difficult decisions are the ones the people elected me to make and I will make them.”

Nixon is hopeful brighter economic times are ahead.

Brent Martin reports (:60 MP3)