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Gov. Eric Greitens announced in late May that he would resign after facing months of political and legal scandals.The saga started in January, when KMOV released a recording of a woman saying Greitens took a compromising photo of her during a sexual encounter and threatened to blackmail her.A St. Louis grand jury indicted Greitens in February on felony invasion of privacy. The woman testified to lawmakers that Greitens sexually and physically abused her, spurring bipartisan calls for his resignation or impeachment.The invasion of privacy charge was eventually dropped by St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s office following a series of prosecutorial missteps before the trial began. Greitens was also accused of illegally obtaining a donor list from the veterans non-profit he co-founded with his political campaign, but that charge, too, was dismissed as part a deal that led to his resignation as governor.

No line of credit for Greitens’ tax refund proposal

Statewide population data shows that females in Missouri ages 16 and older who work full-time jobs all year won’t earn as much as men until 2066.
Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio
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Missouri House and Senate leaders are balking at Gov. Eric Greitens’ plan to establish a line of credit to ensure that all state income tax refunds are paid on time.

The $250 million credit line is part of the governor’s proposed state budget for Fiscal Year 2019, which begins July 1. But President Pro-tem Ron Richard, R-Joplin, gave a flat-out “no” to that idea while talking with the media Thursday.

“In 2012, Gov. Jay Nixon tried to do that,” Richard said. “We thought that was a bad idea then, so it continues to be a bad idea.”

Fellow Republican, Sen. Dan Brown of Rolla, also said it’s not necessary.

“All these departments have 10 to 20 percent flexibility (and) some of them sit on some pretty high balances,” he said. “Governors and people in the past have slid money around to meet these refunds – we know this is going to come up every year, so it shouldn’t be a big surprise.”

House budget committee chair Scott Fitzpatrick also nixed the idea. He said he’d rather rely on the already-existing budget reserve fund.

“The way the budget reserve fund was set up, to be paid back for the last 45 days of the fiscal year, is a good structure, so that we don’t become entirely reliant on using the full balance of a revolving loan all year long,” he said. “I think it will force some fiscal discipline, whereas (the line of credit) may create an incentive to not be quite as disciplined on cash management.”

A recent state audit found that refunds were delayed in part because Greitens chose to pay for other state expenses first.

“Things like rent, maybe the security for (the Capitol) building, payroll, all of those spending obligations that passed in the budget — they have to pay those out,” State Auditor Nicole Galloway said at the time. “And then they have taxpayer refunds that are paid secondary.”

A spokesman for the governor responded by accusing her of using the audit to make headlines. Galloway, a Democrat, is running for a full term as state auditor.

Follow Marshall on Twitter:@MarshallGReport

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