Governor Jay Nixon (D) is threatening to lay off state workers unless Republican lawmakers fully fund the Missouri Department of Revenue's Motor Vehicles Division for a full fiscal year.
The warning comes one day after House and Senate budget negotiators agreed to only fund the state division for eight months, as a means of pressuring state Revenue officials to stop scanning and storing source documents of driver's license applicants. Nixon says he'll treat the 8-month appropriation as a full year's funding if GOP leaders don’t reverse themselves.
House Speaker Tim Jones (R, Eureka) has formed a committee he says will thoroughly investigate the Department of Revenue's scanning of source documents for driver's license and conceal carry applicants, and the release of the state's conceal carry weapons (CCW) holder list to the federal government.
Jones says the committee is necessary because the Nixon administration has not fully cooperated with lawmakers' efforts to get answers to everything that's happened and why.
After nearly eight hours of debate Monday, the Missouri Senate has passed next year’s state budget.
The roughly $25 billion spending plan still does not include Medicaid expansion, but not for a lack of trying by Democrats. Minority Floor Leader Jolie Justus offered up an amendment that would’ve added $890 million to the Social Services budget, enough to expand Medicaid to around 260,000 Missourians next year.
Mo. Sen. Kurt Schaefer (R, Columbia) holds a press conference in his office on Apr. 16, 2013, where he states that ATF took part in the request for Missouri's CCW list. To Schaefer's right is Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder (R).
A crowd estimated at more than 1,000 crammed into the Rotunda of the Missouri Capitol Tuesday to hear Governor Jay Nixon (D) call for expanding Medicaid to an additional 300,000 residents, nearly 260,000 of them by next year.
He told the crowd that the people he wants to add are those with low-paying jobs that don’t include health coverage.
The Missouri Senate has given first-round approval to legislation that would prohibit the Department of Revenue (DOR) from scanning and storing source documents for driver’s license, conceal-carry, and other applications.
As he did last week with House Republicans, Nixon pitched his proposal to expand Medicaid to an additional 260,000 Missourians next year. He told reporters afterwards that it went well, and that much of the discussion focused on the alternate Medicaid package moving through the Missouri House.
He met with the GOP caucus today to discuss his Medicaid expansion proposal and their plans to reform the system. Nixon told reporters afterwards that any proposal still needs to expand Medicaid to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, or about $32,500 for a family of four.
The Missouri House will begin debate Tuesday on the 13 bills that make up next year’s state budget.
The three bills that encompass the state’s Medicaid program don’t include Governor Jay Nixon’s (D) proposed expansion, although House Democrats may try to offer amendments to change that. Budget chairman Rick Stream (R, Kirkwood) says the state should have more of a say in how Medicaid dollars are handled.