Nixon Announces 2012 Budget

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JEFFERSON CITY - Governor Jay Nixon signed the 2012 budget Friday, but not before announcing $100 million in spending cuts.

Nixon recently allocated $50 million to disaster relief. $25 million went to tornado relief in Joplin. The other $25 million went to flood recovery in southeast Missouri. The disaster spending was not included in the proposed budget.

Nixon announced nearly 100 cuts to trim down the $23 billion budget.

"Here in Missouri we balance our budget," said Nixon.

State budget director Linda Luebbering said all of the witholdings were difficult decisions, but necessary to not spend money that doesn't exist.

Nixon announced four-year public universities will see a seven percent decrease in funding instead of the 5.7 percent appropriated. The University of Missouri system and Missouri Western University were exceptions, receiving an eight percent decrease. Luebbering said both systems have other revenue due to recent tuition increases.

"Joplin and southeast Missouri because of the floods.... those are real. There's no doubt about it. We owe a duty to those people first and foremost to help pay for it. But what is innappropriate is to go to education, and predominantly education, to find the money to make up for that short fall," said Senator Kurt Schaefer, R- Columbia.