Nixon making budget cuts after lawmakers enact tax breaks

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JEFFERSON CITY — Gov. Jay Nixon is making nearly $60 million in budget cuts after Missouri lawmakers overrode his vetoes on several bills creating new tax breaks.

The Democratic governor spoke Thursday afternoon at a press conference to announce details of the budget cuts.

Nixon cut $57.2 million from this year's budget. More than $30 million was cut from education, while the Department of Transportation faces a $20 million cut.

That comes one day after the Republican-led Legislature overrode vetoes of bills offering an income tax deduction for federal agricultural disaster aid payments, a sales tax exemption for "instructional classes" such as dance lessons and an income tax deduction for corporations that switch to employee ownership.

The governor said he was always straightforward with legislators about making the cuts.

"I've always been extremely clear with legislators that the tax breaks they pass must be accounted for," Nixon said. "Either in the budget they pass, or the action I must take is now that day."

Nixon has said the tax breaks could reduce state revenues by more than $60 million annually. Lawmakers have disputed those estimates.

The new budget cuts will be on top of $115 million of spending that Nixon blocked shortly after the budget took effect in July.