Gov. Jay Nixon today vetoed $144.6 million in general revenue spending and restricted $641.6 in general revenue expenditures for Fiscal Year 2015. Nixon said he took these actions to keep the budget balanced and to ensure state spending does not exceed available revenue, according to a press release.
Nixon, a Democrat, said the state’s Republican-led legislature had exhibited “a stunning lack of fiscal restraint,” and he cited the following reasons for the $786 million deficit:
- Several Senate and House Bills, if passed, would create tax breaks projected to reduce state revenue by up to $425 million and lower local revenue by up to $351 million per annum starting July 1.
- Anticipated tobacco settlement payments will not be available, and tax amnesty legislation did not pass. Those two factors combined create a $101.8 million budget shortfall.
- The General Assembly’s inaction on Medicaid has fueled economic uncertainty in the state.
- The legislature added funding for 100 spending items, including government buildings and new programs, not included in the his budget recommendations.
“These actions are not easy,” Nixon said of the cuts, “but they are absolutely essential to putting the budget back in balance and keeping the state on a fiscally responsible path.”