JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Jay Nixon spoke with reporters Friday, outlining concerns about the 2014 state budget. Nixon told reporter he was concerned with the way lawmakers funded some state initiatives, including pitting children with mental disabilities against low-income seniors in a fight for funds.
"I have yet to have a single person to come up to me and say, 'What we need, governor, is the legislature to go above your budget request to build a new building for bureaucrats in Jefferson City,'" Nixon said, referring to money in the budget for state buildings.
Earlier this month, Nixon warned of staff and employee lay-offs if the legislature cut taxes and revenues suffered. Nixon said a tax bill passed by the Missouri House Thursday evening would take $800 million out of the state's budget.
Nixon also lashed out at the legislature's partial funding of the Department of Revenue in the wake of the dispute over driver records given to the federal government. Republican leaders in the general assembly cut the DOR budget, saying they would only fund it until February so that they could check to see that changes had been made there at that point.
"I'm not going to operate this government on two-thirds of the budget whether it's this part or any part. No governor would do that. It's not the way to operate your budget. It is a shift to Washington-style continuing resolutions. We'll work with individuals but I just want everybody to know that there will be impacts," Nixon said.
Nixon said he wants to continue the state's AAA credit rating and this budget would not maintain that rating.
Nixon was in favor of the budget's increase of $100 million of funding for schools K-12 and increase $25 million funding for higher education.
Republican lawmakers did not return our calls for their response to Nixon's comments. Nixon can line item veto or withhold funding, but cannot reallocate the funds.The budget takes effect July 1.