Governor Jay Nixon (D) has laid made good on his threat to veto tax cut legislation, and says it is the only thing only thing that will prevent Missouri public schools from losing hundreds of millions of dollars.
Nixon cites the Missouri School Boards Association finding that Senate Bill 509 would reduce state education funding by $223-million annually. He rejects Republican claims that the triggers in their bill would prevent such losses.
“There’s nothing in here that protects education. Nothing,” Nixon told the Capitol press corps on Thursday. “We had a provision that said let’s guarantee to fund the formula. We put that in that bill. We worked with Senator (Will) Kraus. We put that on the floor of the Senate. They saw what the words were and they made a specific not to include that.”
Nixon also says language in two places in the legislation would result in the eliminating of income taxes on Missourians with annual income of $9,000 or more, thereby wiping out $4.8-billion annually, or 67 percent of the state’s general revenue.
Republicans say Nixon could have raised his concerns when he was working with them on early versions of the tax cut. Nixon says they’re trying to shift blame.
“What that statement tells me is they know the bill is drafted in correctly and they’re looking for somebody to blame.”
Republicans will seek to overturn Nixon’s veto early next week after they return to Jefferson City. The effort would begin in the Senate where 23 votes are needed for the necessary two-thirds majority. If the effort is successful there, it would go to the House where 109 votes are needed. GOP leadership in both chambers believe they have the necessary votes.