Governor Jay Nixon (D) has signed into law the remainder of the legislature’s proposed state spending plan for the fiscal year that begins July 1.
Nixon credited the legislature for sending him a balanced budget on time, but said it doesn’t do enough for K-12 education and hinted that he might withhold some funding later.
“While refusing to prioritize public education this legislature just this week passed a $51-million tax break which would take effect in the coming fiscal year and is not accounted for in this budget,” said Nixon. “I will continue to monitor the revenue situation carefully, account for the passage of legislation that would have a significant fiscal impact, and take whatever actions are necessary to keep this budget in balance.”
Nixon says the budget provides significantly for Missourians with special needs, “ensuring that there continues to be no waiting list for in-home services for low-income Missourians with developmental disabilities.”
Nixon praised the legislature for increasing state aid to Missouri colleges and universities, enough to honor his agreement with them that would freeze tuition, “Ensuring that Missouri undergraduates won’t pay a penny more for tuition next year. It also solidifies our position as number one in the country in holding down tuition increases at public universities.”
Nixon had struck an agreement in the fall with those institutions under which he proposed a 6-percent increase in performance-based funding for them, and in exchange they agreed not to increase tuition. The budget he signed included a 4-percent increase but colleges and universities still agreed not to increase tuition, despite that reduction.
Nixon did veto two provisions in the budget.
One would have spent $370,000 in the World War II Memorial Trust Fund on the National World War I Museum and Memorial, the Veterans Memorial Museum in St. Louis, Missouri Honor Flights, and the Missouri Veterans History Project. Nixon said those expenditures were not allowable uses of the money in the World War II Memorial Trust Fund.
The other was $500,000 to fund connections between the Department of Social Services and the Missouri Health Connection. Nixon said language with that money placed conditions on exchange services that would unfairly exempt some providers from having to pay for such services as called for under existing contracts.
The governor said he would review the provisions in the budget that aim to keep tax dollars from going to Planned Parenthood.