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MO: Republicans say Democrat Governor is improperly withholding funds
Last Updated on Monday, 11 July 2011 01:34 Written by rslcpol Monday, 11 July 2011 01:34
No one has questioned the need for Missouri to spend taxpayer money to help clean up debris and rebuild public facilities after the nation’s deadliest tornado in decades destroyed a wide swath of Joplin.
But some Republican officials have begun to question whether Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon is inappropriately citing the tornado as a reason to hold on to state dollars that had been due to public schools and other government programs.
At issue is a provision in the Missouri Constitution that gives governors authority to make spending cuts if — and only if — state revenues fall short of the estimates upon which the state budget was based. If times are good, the governor must follow dollar-by-dollar each of the hundreds or thousands of specific appropriations that lawmakers list in the budget. If finances are bad, the governor can hold back some or all of the money allotted for particular programs and use it to make up for shortfalls elsewhere.