By Marshall Griffin
St. Louis, MO – Missouri Governor Jay Nixon will deliver his first State of the State Address tonight. The core of the speech is expected to focus on crafting a state budget in hard economic times. Republican Allen Icet of St. Louis County, who chairs the House Budget Committee, said that "the governor has to withhold at least 3 to 400 million in the 2010 Fiscal Year, and depending on some factors beyond all of our control, it may actually turn out to be a little bit more than that."
Democratic Senator Joan Bray of St. Louis says Nixon will have to make cuts: "And I suspect they will be very thoughtfully and judiciously done, because he's had some good experienced people with the state budget helping him on that." He believes the cuts won't focus much on direct services to people. Meanwhile, Nixon's spending plan may include a partial restoring of Medicaid benefits cut by former Governor Matt Blunt four years ago.
The governor may also announce adjustments to the current 2009 budget.