Nixon Unveils More Of His Legislative Agenda, Hopes Congress Will Avoid 'Dairy Cliff' | St. Louis Public Radio

Nixon Unveils More Of His Legislative Agenda, Hopes Congress Will Avoid 'Dairy Cliff'

Dec 28, 2012

Governor Jay Nixon (D) has unveiled more of his agenda for the upcoming legislative session.

In addition to expanding Medicaid, Nixon says he wants to consolidate the regulatory commissions within the Department of Natural Resources.

“I think we have too many commissions (at DNR)," Nixon said.  "I think narrowing those, while continuing to protect air and water, will get more efficiency in that area so that resources can be focused appropriately.”

Nixon also says Missouri has the 4th shortest school year in the nation and that there should be a discussion on lengthening it – and he says he wants to expand tourism by focusing more attention on state parks and other outdoor attractions.  He also wants to expand exports and wants lawmakers to pass a new ethics bill that includes restoring campaign contribution limits.

The Governor also expressed concern over the failure so far of Congress to pass a federal farm bill.  Some experts estimate that milk prices could rise to $8 a gallon if the bill or an alternate stop-gap measure is not passed before the year ends.

“It’s very challenging for all of us to look at the potential of, in essence, doubling the price of milk and cheese and ice cream and other things," Nixon said.  "We’re obviously looking at those various challenges as we go forward.”

Nixon would not specify what action he may take at the state level, but says he’ll analyze his options if Missouri and the rest of the nation goes over the so-called “dairy cliff” on January first.  Nixon also says he hopes Congress and the president will get their act together and reach an agreement to avoid the fiscal cliff next week as well.

Follow Marshall Griffin on Twitter:  @MarshallGReport