Gov. Nixon Announces Spending Restrictions

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JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Jay Nixon announced spending restrictions and line-item vetoes at the state Capitol on Tuesday. Nixon said he had a hard time making cuts, but they were necessary to ensure economic stability in the state.

"These cuts are absolutely essential to put the budget back in balance," Nixon said. "While eroding our tax base with new loopholes for special interests, the legislature simultaneously littered the budget with earmarks and new government programs, demonstrating misplaced priorities and a stunning lack of fiscal restraint."

Earlier this month, Nixon vetoed several tax breaks and exemptions passed during the final hours of the legislative session. His administration estimated the provisions of the bills would reduce state and local revenues up to $786 million a year.

Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R- Columbia, served as the Senate Appropriations Committee Chair during the session. Schaefer said he does not agree with Nixon's administrative calculations and thinks Nixon is attempting to make a short-term fix for the state's economy.

"This is the first year in a long time that the Governor and the legislature could not come to an agreement," Schaefer said. "The reason our economy is in the situation it is in is because the Governor has no economic development plan."

The Missouri Budget Project issued a press release after Nixon's announcement, stating Tuesday's cuts are only the beginning of more cuts to government programs. The nonprofit group said Missouri is subject to lose more than $1 billion per year if the legislature overrides Nixon's veto of  a "last minute tax cut spree" during the session.

Gov. Nixon's full veto messages can be found on his website. The 2015 fiscal year begins July 1.