Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has spoken out about legislation recently passed by the Missouri General Assembly.
In a conference call held Thursday, Nixon said bills passed by the General Assembly will affect both state and local governments by reducing $766 million in revenue. Schools, state parks and mental health services will be affected at the state level. At the local level, police, firefighters and snowplows could be affected.
Nixon said the bills passed did not go through the proper channels.
“Many of these bills didn’t receive open public hearings," Nixon said. "Some of them didn’t even have fiscal notes. It was an extremely sloppy way to handle, to deal with the taxpayers’ dollars in the final eight hours."
Republican House Speaker Tim Jones argued that the proposals passed went through both the House and Senate for the duration of the legislative session, and that some of the proposals had been approved in previous sessions. He also said that the majority of the bills passed were meant to be clarification on the wording of current tax law.
“The majority if not all of the proposals that passed were predominantly clarification of our current tax system that the governor's Department of Revenue is abusing," Jones said.
Nixon said that regardless of whether he vetoes the bills or not, the issue of the hole in the budget will still remain if the legislature decides to override the vetoes. Budget cuts are all on the table for a number of projects in order to balance the budget.