By Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio
Jefferson City, Mo. – Missouri House members working on budget cuts today turned their attention to staff members working for Governor Jay Nixon and other statewide office holders.
On a mostly party-line vote, House members voted to cut the salaries of top aides who earn more than $86,500 a year down to that figure.
The sponsor, State Representative Ryan Silvey (R, Kansas City), says Governor Nixon has a lot of high earners on his staff.
"The previous governor (Matt Blunt) had two people on staff that made $100,000 or more...this governor has eight, count 'em, eight, that make a hundred thousand or more (per year)," Silvey said.
The move would also affect some staff members working for Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, Attorney General Chris Koster, State Auditor Susan Montee, and State Treasurer Clint Zweifel, all Democrats.
Fellow Democrat Jeff Roorda of Barnhart took note of that while speaking on the House floor.
"And now we're cutting all the state offices, except for the Lt. Governor's office, which (has) the only statewide Republican (office holder)...this smells funny, Mr. Speaker, and I think we ought to take a good sniff," Roorda said.
But Silvey said no one on Lt. Governor Peter Kinder's staff makes more than $86,500 a year. Kinder's annual salary, according to the 2009-2010 state manual, is $86,484.
House members also voted to get rid of the chef at the Governor's Mansion.