Greitens talks funding, budget at first full Capitol press conference

Gov. Eric Greitens discussed a wide range of issues, from higher education budget cuts to lack of funding for Missouri road repairs, during a meeting with journalists Thursday.

After opening with a reference to the Thursday announcement of a firearms and outdoor recreation company moving its distribution center to Boone County and an overview of some of his priorities, the governor opened the floor to questions from reporters at the event organized by the Missouri Press Association and The Associated Press.

In his proposed 2017-18 budget, Greitens recommended $40 million in cuts to the University of Missouri System and almost $160 million in cuts for higher education statewide.

Despite the proposed cuts, Greitens said he doesn’t want to see in-state tuition increase and blamed politicians for the current state of the budget.

Greitens also spoke about funding woes from the Missouri Department of Transportation, which says they’re “treading water,” burning through cash reserves to simply maintain the current system.

Greitens said the solution to funding the more than $700 million in priority improvements needed to properly fix the state’s roads lies in the overall economy. He noted that legislation such as “right-to-work” will stimulate the economy and lead to more investment in infrastructure.

Greitens ended the 30-minute session with a statement that praised the media for informing the public but made no comments regarding future Capitol news conferences.

Read more: Columbia Missourian, St. Louis Public Radio

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