The state legislature’s budget leaders say they have identified about 50 items that Governor Jay Nixon cut from the state’s current operating budget that they will recommend for veto override attempts. Those lines total about $40-million.
Senate Budget Chairman Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, says these are items that he and his House counterpart believe will have enough support among lawmakers to secure overrides.
“50 line items that we believe the governor is so far out of whack with the values of Missourians and his priorities are so wrong that we believe in our discussions are appropriate for line-item vetoes,” says Schaefer. “We’ll be taking those to our respective caucuses and then to all members of the House and Senate.”
Governor Nixon has said the state doesn’t have money for the programs he vetoed. Schaefer acknowledges Nixon could simply withhold the money for any of the roughly 50 lines that are overridden, but says overriding these items will send the governor a message.
“These are 50 items that it was absolutely egregious for the governor to veto, yet still spend money that he is spending on a lot of things that are not top priorities for Missourians,” says Schaefer.
Schaefer specifically criticizes Nixon for maintaining money in the budget for a state plane that he uses in travel throughout the state while vetoing money for forensic examinations of children who are victims of rape and for defibrillators for water patrol boats.