Legislative leaders from both sides of the aisle react to the Governor’s State of the State address.

Governor Jay Nixon is greeted by legislators as he leaves the Missouri House Chamber after delivering the State of the State address at the State Capitol in Jefferson City. UPI / Bill Greenblatt

All agree on one thing … much work lies ahead in balancing the state budget. House majority floor leader Tim Jones of Eureka says he thinks the governor is a fine speech giver, but says he was looking for more specifics on where to go with the budget. He thought the speech was largely a repeat from last year, and was more of a campaign speech in an election year than an address to legislators.

“I think the Governor is a fine speech giver but … again, I think the two things I was looking for was a specific plan on what we were going to do this session and also, I was looking for specific proposals from the Governor as to how we’re going to balance the budget,” Jones says.

Minority Floor Leader Mike Talboy of Kansas City says in an election year, every speech is a campaign speech, and that the Governor laid out clear priorities to focus on — budget, job creation, economic development and education — and that specifics will come with budget talks in the coming days.

Both parties agree that the governor’s proposed cuts to higher education are concerning, but that bolstering K through 12 funding is an important priority.

Jones says he was looking for a specific plan on what the legislature is going to do this session and specific proposals from Nixon on how they’ll balance a budget that is $500 million to $700 million short.

AUDIO: Republican Response (pre-recorded / aired after State of State) — 8:02 min.

AUDIO: House Majority Floor Leader Tim Jones interview — 7:39 min.

AUDIO: House Minority Floor Leader Mike Talboy interview — 4:43 min.

AUDIO: Senate leadership response, Mayer, Schaefer — 12:02 min.

AUDIO: Jessica Machetta reports — 1:13 min.