MO Statehouse
3:15 pm
Fri March 4, 2011

GOP lawmakers want Nixon to release more school bus funding

Republican leaders in the Missouri House are calling on Governor Jay Nixon (D) to release more funding for school buses.

The challenge follows Thursday’s news that state revenue collections are up by more than six percent since July of last year. 

House Speaker Steven Tilley (R, Perryville) says there’s no reason to continue withholding school transportation funds.

“If he didn’t like the budget that the House passed, that the Senate passed, and (that) he signed, he just should have vetoed portions of the budget," Tilley said.  "That’s fully within his rights, but to withhold money when we’re above (the) consensus revenue (estimate), I think, is inappropriate and wrong.”

House Budget Chairman Ryan Silvey (R, Kansas City) echoed Tilley's comment to reporters on Thursday.

“He should release it a little at a time, and then if the revenue takes a dive, then obviously pump the brakes," Silvey said.  "But where we are right now, I don’t see any reason why school children should be continuing to suffer from his withholds.” 

Governor Nixon initially withheld $70 million for K-12 transportation last summer, citing reduced revenues.  He has since released $10 million last month and $7.5 million in January.

The Governor’s Office so far has not responded to the Republicans’ latest challenge.