Mo. Gov. Nixon/state budget
2:02 pm
Mon April 30, 2012

Nixon urging lawmakers to fund blind pensions, veterans' homes before session ends

With three weeks left in the legislative session, Governor Jay Nixon (D) is urging lawmakers to fund veterans’ homes, pensions for the blind and other specific needs in the still-unfinished state budget.

Nixon told reporters today that nursing homes for military veterans are woefully underfunded in next year’s $24 billion spending plan, and that a separate bill needs to be passed to insure a dedicated funding source for the homes.

“Missouri’s veterans’ home(s) provide critical services for thousands of men and women who have served our country with honor and bravery," Nixon said.  "Let me be clear, that bill must get to my desk without delay.”

Nixon also urged the Missouri House to agree with the Senate on restoring $28 million to the budget for pensions for the blind.

“(It’s) clearly a lifeline for folks," Nixon said.  "There’s a reason why in difficult budget years and difficult budget times and over many, many administrations this has never been on the cutting board before…those reasons are solid reasons that countless folks have agreed with for many years.”

Nixon also wants lawmakers to pass a bill to provide tax breaks for auto parts manufacturers.  He got one of his priorities through the General Assembly on Monday, as the Senate passed a bill that would expand job training for new military veterans re-entering the work force.

The governor also said he will not get involved in in a proposed ballot initiative that would raise Missouri’s cigarette tax from 17 to 90 cents a pack.