Democratic Governor Jay Nixon has released just over half of the 400 million dollars he withheld earlier this year from Missouri’s current state budget. 215-million dollars will be divvied up among K-through-12 schools, higher education, mental health programs and specific programs for training health care professional in southwest Missouri. Nixon released the money Thursday after Republican lawmakers on Wednesday failed to override his veto of a controversial tax cut bill.
“The fiscal uncertainties (were) the reason for that, and we will be moving very expeditiously to get those dollars out (to) where they can make a difference,” Nixon said.
The Governor is still withholding 185 million dollars earmarked for construction and repairs to state buildings. Meanwhile, a Republican lawmaker has announced he’ll file a proposed constitutional amendment that would bar the Governor’s office from withholding money from the state budget. House Member Todd Richardson of Poplar Bluff says if passed by lawmakers, his proposal would then go before Missouri voters.