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Missouri Auditor Sues Governor Over Budget Cuts

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Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) __ Missouri’s Republican state auditor
sued its Democratic governor on Friday, alleging that the governor
violated the state constitution by cutting spending on education
and other services to help cover the costs of the deadly Joplin
tornado and spring flooding.
The lawsuit filed in Cole County Circuit Court by Auditor Tom
Schweich contends that Gov. Jay Nixon had no accounting data to
justify the spending cuts were necessary, wrongly made them before
the budget took effect and did so in a politically biased way that
penalized Republican officials more than Democratic ones.
Nixon administration officials responded by defending the cuts,
without specifically addressing the points raised in the lawsuit.
“The governor has used his constitutional authority to fulfill
his responsibility to reduce spending to balance the budget, a
power used by governors over the years and consistently upheld by
the courts,” Nixon spokesman Scott Holste said in an emailed
statement. “Gov. Nixon will continue to ensure that Missouri will
meet its obligations to help communities recover and rebuild from
these disasters.”
Schweich said he sued because Nixon’s office has refused to work
with the Republican-led Legislature and the auditor’s office to
reverse the cuts or provide the necessary documentation to justify
them.
“There is no dispute that the victims of the tornadoes and
floods must be fully compensated for their tragic losses. But the
process must be legal and transparent,” Schweich said in the
written statement announcing the lawsuit had been filed.

Copyright Associated Press
______

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