ST. LOUIS, MO (KMOX) – State Republicans say they aren’t expecting anything new in tonight’s State of the State address. Senator Kevin Engler (R-Farmington), says for the past three years Governor Jay Nixon has given the same speech about job creation and working with a limited budget, but has done little to meet those goals.
This year the legislature crafted an omnibus jobs package, but a rift in Republican leadership between the House and the Senate on the terms of the tax credits kept that bill from ever making it to the Governor’s desk. Engler says if Nixon would have shown greater leadership in bridging the gaps between the House and Senate versions of the bill, it may have passed. That bill included incentives to make Lambert St. Louis International Airport into a hub for Chinese trade. Though that fell through Governor Nixon signed a package of nearly 5 billion dollars in trade with China in October.
One of the main tasks Governor Nixon faces each year is to present a budget for the legislature to modify and pass. Engler says Nixon continually overestimates revenue. This year Nixon’s budget is based on six percent growth, when Missouri has been seeing revenue growth at nearly four percent. These estimates are important to state agencies like public schools, that are writing their contracts for teachers now, using the estimates for how much money they’ll get from the budget. Public schools are currently underfunded according to the funding formula the legislature passed a few years ago. Many lawmakers have vowed to stop making cuts to education, though few other options remain.
The State of the State address is tonight at 7:00. Following the address, the Missouri Republican Party will give its response.
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