Governor Jay Nixon (D) has announced he is restricting the spending of more than $46-million across more than 40 programs in the state budget.
A state appeals court has overturned a lower court ruling, and that would allow tobacco companies to forgo paying Missouri $50-million under the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement. The Attorney General’s Office is appealing, but a decision is not likely before the end of the fiscal year.
So, says Nixon, his office must withhold money to keep Missouri from going over budget. He says he targeted restrictions on programs that have not begun and on new spending increases.
More than $35-million of those restrictions from programs in the Departments of Mental Health; Health and Senior Services; and Social Services.
The restrictions mean Medicaid providers will see a 1-percent increase rather than the 3-percent that was budgeted, with the 1-percent coming from money anticipated to be generated by Missourians paying back taxes under the tax amnesty program that runs through November 1.
Republicans budget leaders are questioning the timing of the restrictions, coming in the second quarter of the fiscal year.