House To Break Tradition, Scrap Nixon Budget Estimate

Jay Nixon addresses the crowd at a 2012 event. | Photo courtesy of Creative Commons
Gov. Jay Nixon's budget overestimates state tax revenue by $310 million, Rep. Rick Stream says. | Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

House Budget Chairman Rick Stream contends Gov. Jay Nixon is overestimating how much tax revenue Missouri will receive by $310 million. If the Republican from Kirkwood used Nixon’s budget as a starting point, as the House traditionally does, legislators would have to make cuts to balance the budget. So instead, budget bills filed by Stream use the current budget as the starting point. That means legislators will be able to make clear that they are adding spending — just not as much as Nixon proposed.

Rep. Chris Kelly, D-Columbia, blamed both sides equally for the budget mess. Kelly headed the budget committee in the early 1990s, when the Legislature formalized the process of working with the executive branch to reach a consensus revenue estimate. Kelly said the failure to reach an agreement this year means “there’s no such thing as a balanced budget. It’s very difficult and kind of depressing.”

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