St. Louis Public Radio News
5:52 pm
Tue May 5, 2009

Kinder praises about-face on stimulus bill

St. Louis, MO – Lieutenant Gov. Peter Kinder has called Monday night's approval of a bill appropriating $332 million in stimulus money a "legislative miracle."

The spending bill includes $12 million to restore some transit service cuts in St. Louis, as well as money to renovate the Ellis Fischel Cancer Center in Columbia. The state House shot the legislation down Thursday night - then reversed course on Monday, the very next legislative day.

The original vote was no stunt, Kinder said.

"I think when they came home over the weekend, the heat was turned up by constituents," Kinder said, referring to Democrats he says voted against the proposal at the urging of Gov. Jay Nixon. "And if you doubt that, look at the numbers," he said. "Only 14 Democratic state Reps voted yes last Thursday morning, while 50 Democratic state reps voted no."

Kinder spokesman Gary McElyea called Nixon the biggest remaining threat to the legislation. Nixon spokesman Scott Holste would not say if the governor plans to sign the bill, which still requires full Senate approval. Appropriators there added another $100 million in projects Tuesday afternoon.