MO Statehouse/Withholds lawsuit
10:59 am
Mon October 31, 2011

Mo. judge weighing budget cuts by Gov. Nixon

A Missouri judge is considering whether Gov. Jay Nixon exceeded his constitutional powers when he cut spending for education to help cover costs from the deadly Joplin tornado and major flooding.

Cole County Judge Jon Beetem issued no immediate ruling Monday after listening to arguments from attorneys representing the Democratic governor and Republican Auditor Tom Schweich, who sued.

At issue is about $170 million of budget cuts announced in June by Nixon for the fiscal year that began July 1.

Nixon's attorneys contend the cuts are temporary and authorized under a constitutional section that gives the governor the power to control the rate of expenditures.

Attorneys for Schweich contend the cuts are intended to be permanent and that the governor can reduce expenditures only when revenues fall below projections.