“Special sessions of the legislature have somewhat different rules from regular sessions and this might be a good time to review some of the basics, now that our lawmakers are returning to the Capitol on Thursday to work on two issues. The Ford bill allows the (auto) company to keep some of the income withholding taxes of employees who will build the next generation of vehicle replacing the current Escape an Mercury Mariner small SUVs
We went back to our recordings of the last day of the session when things fell apart for both bills and dug out our recording of Senate Debate on the automobile manufacturing bill. The voices you’ll hear are Senator Lu Ann Ridgeway, whose district includes Claycomo, Senator Matt Bartle of Lee’s Summit, who is strongly opposed to the whole subsidy plan, Jack Goodman of Nevada who leans away from favoring the idea, Tim Green of St. Louis who favors it, and Jim Lembke of St. Louis and Chuck Purgason of Caulfield who are philosophically opposed to the idea. At the end, sponsor Tom Dempsey of St. Charles puts his bill on the shelf with about three hours left in the session, not enough time to get things worked out enough to get the bill to a vote.”
Not as bad as first feared. But the newest budget withholdings announced by Governor Nixon today are bad enough. He’s withholding $280 million from the budget for the fiscal year starting July 1. The state budget office had recommended a few weeks ago that he withhold $350 million but Nixon says an uptick in state revenue in May provides some hope that today’s withholdings will be enough.
By withholding the money rather than vetoing the appropriations, Nixon leaves the opportunity open to release funds later if state income perks up even more. [video of opening remarks 7 min]
School transportation funding takes the biggest hit—$70 million. He’s also withholding $54 million from a couple of state college scholarship programs although he says the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority will be announcing a $30 program in a few days that will ease the pain of those two other scholarship programs.
Nixon is withholding 447 million in tax credits and 414 million each in Mental Health projects and in Medicaid provider reimbursements from the state.
The new fiscal year, FY11, begins in less than two weeks.
This is a cross-post from Missourinet.com. Story by Bob Priddy
Missouri’s budget woes will hit college students, school buses, the state work force, business tax credits and scores of other programs under $301.4 million in cuts announced today by Gov. Jay Nixon. Nixon said the budget passed by the Legislature had to be cut to avoid red ink in the fiscal year that begins July 1.
“None of this is easy,” Nixon told reporters at a news conference in his Capitol office. He said this round of belt-tightening had required him to “punch another hole in the belt.”
Among the biggest casualties: the Access Missouri college scholarship program, which provides needs-based grants. Nixon whacked $50 million from the $82 million appropriation. While details were sketchy, he said $30 million of that cut would be offset by a new scholarship program being set up by the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority.