Governor Nixon has 172 million from the state budget, nearly double what he projected on the last day of session.

Nixon defends his priorities, saying additional cuts are necessary and that “we can’t spend money that doesn’t exist,” but that he’s worked hard to maintain funding for K through 12 public schools, Medicaid, the Missouri Rx program for senior citizens, all while maintaining a triple-A credit rating for the state while other states watch their credit ratings drop.

An $8 million dollar cut to state funding for public school buses and some $17 million from higher education is drawing fire. Also, a $50 million allocation for disaster aid in Joplin and flooding in Southeast Missouri is close to the $57 million Nixon is withholding from the state’s general revenues. Nixon wouldn’t say the two are directly correlative.

Most higher education institutions will see a 7 percent decrease from the last fiscal year … Missouri Western and the University of Missouri System will be withheld at an 8 percent rate over last year.

The cuts come from a $23 Billion budget that would begin July 1 for 2012.