Gov. Jay Nixon released $40.1 million in withheld budget allocations for a variety of programs and projects, including $18 million for improvements to the State Capitol building, $5 million for projects at Missouri state parks and $750,000 for small business programs. The withholdings were made earlier this fiscal year.
Nixon’s budget staff said that the governor wanted to make sure that the state would have the money before allowing it to be spent, since the Missouri constitution requires that the state end each fiscal year with a balanced budget.
But House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka, faulted what he called “this governor’s extremely heavy-handed abuse of his withholding powers.” Jones emphasized that, in his opinion, there was “absolutely no reason” for Nixon to withhold the money in the first place.