Governor Jay Nixon has released another $22-million dollars of the money he had been withholding in the state budget, while announcing new withholdings of more than $54-million dollars, in part, tied to the cuts he had made in the budget that the legislature overturned this week.
The $22-million he released was for mental health services, reimbursements to local governments, job training and other priorities. Nixon says he can release that money because the legislature didn’t overturn his vetoes on all the tax break bills he called the “Friday Favors,” that Nixon said would have taken hundreds of millions of dollars annually from state and local governments.
He says the $54-million he is now restricting had to be held back in order to “prevent the growth of government beyond available revenues and ensure a balanced budget.”
The new restrictions include more than $1.4-million for forensic exams for physically abused children, $500-thousand for the Alternatives to Abortion counseling program, $160-thousand for defibrillators for the Water Patrol division of the Highway Patrol and $100-thousand for one new staff position in the Office of Child Advocate.
Money that the governor withholds can be released at a later time.
Nixon on Thursday announced the release of more than $140-million for K-12 and higher education (see earlier story).