Budget battles loom between a Republican-dominated Missouri Legislature and Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon as the 98th session of the General Assembly opens today.
Backed by new constitutional powers gained with the passage of Amendment 10 in November, legislators return to the Capitol potentially seeking to overturn some of the restrictions that Nixon has imposed in the current budget. Republican lawmakers, who in November strengthened their veto-proof majorities in the House and Senate, also plan to pass next year’s budget three weeks early, providing time before the session adjourns to override any vetoes Nixon imposes.
The budget fights could affect funding for a range of things, from basic state aid for public schools to drugs provided to people on Medicaid.
Legislators will also devote attention to topics including: issues arising from the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, including proposals requiring body cameras for police; Medicaid expansion, which Republicans have vowed to resist; and school transfers.