Lawmakers are returning to Jefferson City for their annual veto session, which begins Wednesday at noon.
House and Senate leaders will attempt to override Governor Jay Nixon’s (D) veto of a bill that levies local sales taxes on out-of-state vehicle purchases. The issue has heated up, as Nixon’s supporters are running radio ads urging Missouri citizens to call their lawmakers and tell them not to override the Governor’s veto.
Nixon calls the bill a retroactive tax hike on anyone who’s bought a vehicle outside of Missouri this year, while GOP leaders say it will provide much-needed revenue to local police and fire departments and encourage car and boat buyers to shop in Missouri. Speaker Pro-tem Shane Schoeller (R, Willard) admits the chances of overriding the veto of the vehicle sales tax bill are slim.
With a Friday deadline looming, Missouri lawmakers finally reached a compromise on putting the final touches on the state budget.
The agreement addresses veterans’ homes, university funding and other sticking points: First, budget negotiators agreed to spread an additional $3 million among several universities, including Southeast Missouri State, and dropped a proposal to give $2 million to that school alone. Also, lawmakers will have to craft a Higher Education funding formula by the end of next year, which would be implemented in July 2014.
The Senate has made no progress on persuading Jason Crowell (R, Cape Girardeau) to stop blocking every bill in the Senate, including one to fund veterans’ homes. He says he has no objections to transferring gaming revenues from early childhood programs to nursing homes for military vets, but he won’t allow it or any other bill to advance unless the House strips more than $2 million in extra funding from Southeast Missouri State University. President Pro-tem Rob Mayer (R, Dexter) says other Senators have sided with Crowell on the issue.