Gov. Jay Nixon’s recent public tour of the damaged sections of the Missouri Capitol appeared to be aimed, in part, at making it clear that he recognizes repairs are needed – even as he continues to withhold repair money allocated in the current state budget.
Nixon also may be attempting to repair his strained relations with legislative leaders, as his administration and the General Assembly launch into a new round of negotiations and maneuverings to craft a new state budget for the next fiscal year (FY2016).
Missouri state government is seeing an increase in general-revenue income but not enough to cover its budget for the current fiscal year.
That’s the assessment of state Budget Director Linda Luebbering of the state’s latest income numbers, released Thursday.
Since the fiscal year began July 1, general revenue collections are up 3.8 percent compared to the same period a year ago. If that percentage remained throughout the fiscal year, the state would be about $100 million short of meeting its budget, requiring last-minute cuts by Gov. Jay Nixon.
Missouri is beginning its new fiscal year on an upswing, with general-revenue income for July – the first month of the fiscal year – up 6.5 percent compared to a year ago.
But state Budget Director Linda Luebbering cautions that state government income is still below where it needs to be if it is to hit the General Assembly’s estimates that legislators used to assemble their approved budget.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is trying a new pitch in his quest to persuade state legislators to expand the state's Medicaid program and accept the $2 billion a year in extra federal money that would go along with it.
Nixon told supporters Thursday night in St. Louis County that the state’s current Medicaid program is so stingy that it discourages people from working — and could drive entry-level workers to other states that are expanding Medicaid.
Missouri now bars Medicaid coverage for anyone who earns more than $2,217 a year — which boils down to $42.63 a week.
Missourians flocked to the stores in December, causing a huge increase in the state’s sales tax collections that, in turn, has helped fatten the state government’s coffers more than expected.
State Budget Director Linda Luebbering on Thursday credited a rosier public mood – which apparently led to more holiday shopping – for a 25.9 percent increase in Missouri’s sales tax collections in December, compared to December 2012.
Missouri legislative leaders and Gov. Jay Nixon are disagreeing on what revenue estimates should be used in drawing up the state budget for the coming fiscal year – an argument that could affect the General Assembly’s deliberations when it goes back into session in a few weeks.
But the specifics of the budget dispute aren’t clear because most of the parties involved are commenting only through press releases and offering -- at least so far -- few additional details.
Updated at 4:55 p.m. with quotes from Gov. Nixon, Budget Dir. Luebbering, and several GOP legislative leaders.
Citing concerns that lawmakers will override his veto of an income tax bill, Governor Jay Nixon (D) announced today that he's frozen more than $400 million in spending from the state's budget for next year.
Governor Jay Nixon has launched a major public effort to support his veto last week of a bill that would have cut Missouri's individual and corporate income taxes.
The Democratic Governor appeared before college and university officials Tuesday morning in Jefferson City, telling them that the GOP-backed proposal is the single greatest threat to public education he's seen in his career.