Governor Jay Nixon (D) has released an additional $5 million withheld from this year’s K-12 and Higher Education budgets.
The Nixon Administration says $3 million of the withheld funding will help keep school buses on the road, while just over $2 million will go toward universities and community colleges. Budget Director Linda Luebbering says the move was made because state lottery sales have been better than expected.
“We don’t know for sure, (but) there is some chance that some more of it could be released later in the fiscal year," Luebbering said. "We’ll obviously watch it every month as we get updated numbers from the (Missouri) Lottery.”
Governor Nixon withheld $8 million from K-12 transportation and $17 million from Higher Education when he signed the current state budget into law last year. House Budget Chairman Ryan Silvey (R, Kansas City) blasted the governor’s actions, saying last year’s cuts were not necessary.
“I think it’s a little disingenuous of the governor to withhold right at the beginning of the year, and then release it later and say, ‘Oh, look how wonderful I am for education!’" Silvey said. "The funds have been available all along, and I’m glad he’s finally decided to at least let the peasants have a little bit of the crumbs.”