St. Louis Public Radio News
6:08 am
Wed December 3, 2008

Nixon unveils actions to tackle deficit

Jefferson City, MO – Governor-elect Jay Nixon has released a list of actions for handling Missouri's estimated $342 million revenue shortfall.

Upon taking office, Nixon says he'll order each state department to submit plans to reduce spending for the current fiscal year, and place a temporary freeze on long-term state contracts for goods and services.

Transition team spokesman Oren Shur says Nixon will also order reviews of all state construction projects that have not yet broken ground, and of every state tax credit.

"Right now we really need to take a hard look at how the state departments are spending their money...how these tax credits are being doled out, whether they're really creating jobs when these big corporations get these tax credits...whether the capital budget projects, the construction projects, are coming in under budget," Shur said.

Performance reviews will also be ordered for every state agency and major program.

State Senator Gary Nodler (R, Joplin) chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee.

"Those things alone wouldn't save $342 million, if that turned out to be the right number...(but) because there wouldn't necessarily be enough doesn't mean you shouldn't do them," Nodler said.

Nodler agrees with Nixon's steps, calling them "prudent and reasonable."