Governor Nixon has signed a supplemental budget bill into law, but a statement he issued (Download PDF) in signing it has angered the state senate.
The Senate had added language in the bill directing how $43 million in cuts to public school funding should be distributed. Nixon says that violates the constitutional prohibition against adding legislation to budget bills.
Sen. Jason Crowell (R-Cape Girardeau) stated during Senate floor debate that might be true, but it’s not the governor’s place to ignore the language.
“The governor has two options, sign or veto and within the second option of veto he can line-item veto.” Crowell stated to colleagues. “What I do not want to get into the business within the state of Missouri is the governor signing legislation with intent statements and somehow that is going to be binding on anything else.”
Sen. Brad Lager (R-Savannah) agreed, stating that it’s not up to the governor to decide the constitutionality of HB 2014.
“If someone sues and its deemed unconstitutional, then so be it,” “Otherwise, if the executive branch is going now picking and choosing what they want to enforce and not enforce or follow or not follow, I just fundamentally have a problem with that.”
The supplemental bill doesn’t just distribute $43 million in public education cuts; it also makes up for an $86 million shortfall in gambling revenues for schools. Nixon stated that the legislature added language to the bill that attempted to alter the existing basic school funding formula. Nixon stated that portion of the bill isn’t binding, because it violates the constitution.