Governor's office concerned with budget amendment passing
JEFFERSON CITY - Republicans celebrated keeping the super-majority in the statehouse, and Governor Jay Nixon spoke about his future plans at news conferences Wednesday.
Laughter filled the room as House Speaker John Dieh's first words were, "I think we need a bigger room."
Republicans added to their party Tuesday and will now be greater in numbers while working with Democrat Nixon.
The Republican party grew to 118 in the House Wednesday when one Missouri House Democrat made a switch to the other side. In just fifteen years the Missouri House Republican has added 42 members.
Diehl said it is not failure on Nixon's part.
"I think it is safe to say that this is not a failure the Democrats can pin on Jay Nixon. This is a collective failure on a grand scale," Diehl said.
Amendment 10 was a popular topic at both conferences. It will limit the governor's ability to withhold money from the state budget. This allows the Missouri General Assembly to override by a two-thirds vote the governor's decision to withhold funding from any budget item. It could limit Nixon's budget overall.
"As governor it is my responsibility to balance the budget and keep government in its means. We will continue to review its implications we have some real concerns about its impact on the state's fiscal sovereignty," Nixon said.
Nixon said Missouri would need revenue growth of 11 percent to fund the budget set by the legislature. He said 11 percent is more than double what the state is on track to achieve.
In order to balance the budget, Nixon said he had to make restrictions.
"The legislature can now override those safeguards which would put our state in the first time in history in a position of obligating more money than we have. You can't spend money you don't have," Nixon said.
Diehl said the passage of Amendment 10 sent a clear signal from the voters of the state.
"They are probably a little sick and tired of the scare tactics and the black mail that has been used by the governor the past two years in the budget process. We budget responsibility, and we budget in the way that is fiscally accountable to the money we actually have coming in," Diehl said.
Nixon also said he will work just as hard alongside the other party.
"Just because a couple of different people got elected doesn't mean Missouri dramatically changed yesterday. I know the state pretty well, and I think I'm at unique opportunity here with two years to go to push extra hard, and I will," Nixon said.
When asked why Democrats have not been winning, Nixon said he does not know, and he is only focusing on the future.
"Elections are over, and whatever I do is not going to based on some sort of analysis on what happened yesterday. It's what opportunities are tomorrow," Nixon said.