Gov. Nixon restricts $51 million in Medicaid, other spending

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JEFFERSON CITY – Gov. Jay Nixon announced Wednesday he was restricting $51 million in Medicaid and other spending and making $4 million available for education, law enforcement and other spending.

This is not the first time Nixon has restricted spending.

“As Governor, I have kept Missouri’s budget in balance by restricting more than $2.2 billion in spending authorized by the General Assembly,” Nixon said.

Nixon said along with a balanced budget he has kept the state's AAA credit rating intact during his time in office.

“As this fiscal year has progressed we have continued to see signs that our economy is strong and Missouri can get back to work,” Nixon said.

Nixon listed these contributing factors in economic growth:

  • A record number of Missourians who are employed: 2,838,500
  • Missouri has been ranked number one in small business creation
  • Missouri exports are on pace to top the $14 billion record of 2014
  • The November Business Conditions Report show Missouri is leading its nine-state region in manufacturing growth.

“As I prepare to leave office, I leave a budget that’s balanced, while still making smart, responsible investments that will move our state forward. I have always said I want to leave Missouri better than I found it and I am,” Nixon said.

Nixon added, “The question in budgets is not about what you could do, it’s about where your priorities are.”

For Nixon those priorities are in the $4 million made available:

  • $1.875 million to complete renovations at Missouri State University’s Glass Hall
  • $1 million for K-12 transportation
  • $181,875 for Missouri S&T Clay County Engineering Program
  • $500,000 for the Missouri State Highway Patrol
  • $400,000 to expand an emergency room diversion initiative

During the news conference Nixon was asked if he thought the next governor would have to make additional restrictions and he said, “I don’t know. That will be up to him.”

“The people that gave me the high honor, high privilege to give two terms, they’re going to get a full two terms out of me,” Nixon said.

Governor-elect Eric Greitens will be sworn into office on Jan. 9.

“I’m governor. He will be. We’ve been in good communication and having regular meetings,” Nixon said.

KOMU 8 News reached out to Greitens, but have not received a response at this time.