ST. LOUIS–(KMOX)–Hit with a lawsuit last week accusing him of violating the state constitution, Missouri Governor Nixon says he did nothing wrong when he withheld $172 million allocated by the legislature for other programs, so that he can use the money on disaster relief.
“Governors have always managed the budget in this fashion,” Nixon said. “You do it because as you move forward, there are opportunities to continue to fund those things.”
The suit filed by Republican State Auditor Tom Schweich accused Nixon of over-reaching the powers of the executive branch, effectively sidestepping the checks and balances of the legislature. Nixon is a Democrat.
Republican state lawmakers say Nixon should have used his line-item veto authority or the rainy day fund to stay within the boundaries of the state constitution. Both of those options would allow lawmakers to have some recourse.
But Nixon says he did the right thing.
“Spending down your accounts to zero is not the way to start a fiscally-prudent year,” Nixon said, “In order to have the rescources to meet the obligations we have, I, as well as governors over the last 40 years have done the exact same thing.”