Governor Jay Nixon (D) says the legislature didn’t go far enough to fund education in the supplemental budget it sent him this week, so he’s going to withhold money from the current fiscal year’s budget equal to a shortfall in gaming and lottery revenues.
Nixon and his administration earlier this year issued letters and testified to lawmakers and told the media that $44.1-million would be needed in the mid-fiscal year budget for K-12 education to make up for the shortfall. The legislature put $22-million in that bill, with House Budget Committee Chairman Rick Stream (R-Kirkwood) saying when it passed out of the House that he would put the remaining $22-million in the budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1.
Nixon said the legislature’s actions result in a cut to K-12 education that was avoidable.
“The need was clear. The General Revenue was and continues to be available and there was absolutely no reason why our students shouldn’t have gotten the resources they were promised,” Nixon said in a conference with media on Thursday. “Unfortunately despite our clear and repeated warnings about the consequences, the General Assembly has once again failed to make funding for education a priority.”
Today Nixon announced he would withhold $3.2 million each from community colleges and four-year institutions and $15.6-million from the K-12 foundation formula. He is calling on the legislature to put that $22-million in the budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.
Nixon discusses the budget withhold and other issues with the media: