Lawmakers challenge Nixon on new budget restrictions

Missouri lawmakers are challenging Gov. Jay Nixon’s assertion that the state needs to withhold $46.1 million of its budget because Missouri won’t be receiving $50 million it was anticipating from a tobacco settlement.

Nixon, a Democrat, said the restrictions are needed to keep the state budget balanced and maintain Missouri’s credit rating. But since the governor’s initial announcement, several legislative Republicans have questioned the necessity of the cuts.

Much of the funding is being pulled from the departments of Health, Mental Health, and Social Services. A Department of Social Services official said her department’s money was earmarked for new programs, and withholding it will mean the continuation of the “status quo.”

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