Gubernatorial Candidates Spar Over Jobs, Education

5 years 2 months 3 weeks ago Friday, September 21 2012 Sep 21, 2012 Friday, September 21, 2012 4:51:00 PM CDT September 21, 2012 in Smart Decision
By: Garrett Bergquist
loading

COLUMBIA - Jobs and education took center stage at the Missouri Press Association's gubernatorial debate Friday morning.

Hundreds of journalists and campaign supporters looked on as Associated Press correspondent David Lieb moderated the debate among the candidates. Democratic incumbent Gov. Jay Nixon repeatedly mentioned Missouri's lower-than-average unemployment and consistent funding for public education. Missouri's unemployment rate in August was 7.2 percent according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, versus 8.1 percent for the entire country. Republican candidate Dave Spence centered his arguments on jobs, saying Missouri would be able to fully address its problems once the state had consistent job growth. Libertarian candidate Jim Higgins said government in Missouri and the United States has gotten too large and that the state should turn some areas back over to the private sector.

Bureau of Labor Statistics data released Friday show Missouri added 17,900 jobs in August, behind only Texas and Florida. This represented a 0.7 percent increase in employment over the month, which tied Missouri for first in over-the-month job creation rate with Hawaii and Oklahoma.

Spence said the biggest obstacle to school funding is the state's unemployment rate, saying people on unemployment cannot contribute income tax revenue. Higgins said he would support the use of charter schools and school vouchers to allow parents to choose where their children go to school, measures he said would address both the achievement gap and school funding. Nixon and Spence both said they opposed vouchers.

"We shouldn't take public dollars and give them to private schools," Nixon said, while Spence said school vouchers would lead to "mass chaos."

Nixon said public schools have record levels of funding, while Spence said the state needs "more paychecks and fewer unemployment checks."

On the subject of transportation, Nixon said any discussions about new revenue for roads must involve members of the public. He said the gas tax is an increasingly untenable way to fund highways because cars are becoming more fuel efficient. U.S. Energy Information Administration data show motor fuel consumption declined by 7 percent between 2006 and 2011, the most recent year for which data are available. Missouri charges a 17 cent per gallon tax on motor fuel. Both Higgins and Spence said the state needs to use its existing funding more efficiently, with Higgins suggesting MoDOT contract out some types of work. Spence expressed caution on passenger rail, calling it a great concept but asking who would pay for it. On the same subject, Nixon said Missouri should first eliminate slowdowns before brining passenger rail lines through the state.

The candidates expressed concern over how to address Medicaid. Higgins said Missouri should not expand Medicaid and should resist any federal mandates. He said abuse on both the medical and patient side of Medicaid is a major cause of funding problems. Spence said the best way to reduce Medicaid costs is to enact tort reform legislation and use Medicaid money judiciously. Nixon said he would work with politicians in a bipartisan way to find the best way to match the state's needs with requirements under Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act.

All three candidates expressed strong support for the Second Amendment. Spence and Higgins both said people have a basic right to self-defense, while Nixon called hunting and fishing "a big part of who we are as Missourians." The candidates also criticized the Army Corps of Engineers' policies on the Missouri river, with Spence saying, "Everyone I talk to who lives along the river is fit to be tied" about existing policies.

 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - The Wyss Medical Foundation donated $2 million to the Missouri Orthapaedic Institute for the work of lead orthopaedic... More >>
1 hour ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 5:05:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
NEW BLOOMFIELD- A two vehicle car wreck Saturday left one person dead and another injured, according to the Missouri State... More >>
2 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 4:19:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA- On Friday, the Columbia Police Department inducted eight new recruits, the largest class of officers in years. The... More >>
2 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 4:03:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
JACKSONVILLE - An estimated 400 people attended a wreath laying ceremony Saturday at the Jacksonville State Veterans Cemetery. It... More >>
3 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 3:31:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – Graduation day is long awaited by many and Amy Kiso Bledsoe is no exception. Bledsoe was... More >>
3 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 2:47:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — As Missouri struggles with the epidemic of opioid abuse, no place in the state has been... More >>
5 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 1:10:14 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
BOONE COUNTY - A furnace malfunction caused a fire in a trailer home on Pratherville Road Saturday morning. Gale... More >>
6 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 12:05:48 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — People returning to Kansas City after being released from prison will get a 90-day supply... More >>
7 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 11:25:12 AM CST December 16, 2017 in News
BOONE COUNTY - Firefighters responded to a shed fire off of Highway 40 near Rocheport Saturday morning. Boone County... More >>
8 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 10:04:00 AM CST December 16, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Officials with the University of Missouri-Kansas City say students will soon have access to state-of-the-art... More >>
10 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 8:16:45 AM CST December 16, 2017 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - Cat cafes have popped up across the world in cities including New York City, London and Tokyo, and... More >>
11 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 7:36:00 AM CST December 16, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Some Jefferson City kids are getting the chance at a Merry Christmas this year with the help... More >>
18 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 12:00:00 AM CST December 16, 2017 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - The Missouri State Highway Patrol has confirmed it has fired Trooper Anthony Piercy. KOMU 8 spoke to... More >>
22 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 8:42:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - St. Louis officers arrested a suspect that was on the run in a duplex on Sears Court in... More >>
22 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 8:29:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The application for the top education position in the state, Missouri State Education Board Commissioner, opened Friday leaving... More >>
22 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 8:02:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
BLUE SPRINGS (AP) — A commercial real estate records company based in suburban Kansas City has abruptly shut down, leaving... More >>
23 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 7:42:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Fire Department say a house fire that killed a cat Friday afternoon started in the kitchen.... More >>
23 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 7:29:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - For the past six years Ryan Shultz, the creator/owner of the Candy Cane Crib, has shared a well-lit... More >>
23 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 7:17:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 50°
7pm 49°
8pm 47°
9pm 45°
10pm 45°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

6:30p
Wheel of Fortune
7:00p
Will & Grace
7:30p
Superstore
6:30p
The Cleveland Show
7:00p
Family Guy
7:30p
Family Guy

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Will & Grace
7:30p
Superstore
8:00p
Dateline NBC
9:00p
Saturday Night Live
7:00p
Family Guy
7:30p
Family Guy
8:00p
Bob's Burgers
8:30p
Bob's Burgers
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld