Kelly to Nixon: Stop “Throwing Incendiary Press Bombs”
Governor Jay Nixon sent a letter to legislators arguing for the additional $44 million requested in his supplemental budget drawing a feisty response from Rep. Chris Kelly…
Dear Representative Kelly:
I am writing to bring your immediate attention to the action of the House Budget Committee omitting $44.1 million in K-12 education funding from the Fiscal Year 2014 supplemental budget.
The Fiscal Year 2014 budget that was passed overestimated the revenue that would be available from riverboat gaming, lottery and other revenues dedicated to the school foundation formula. As a result, our local schools stand to receive $44.1 million less than what was appropriated for the current school year. That is why my supplemental budget request includes $44.1 million in general revenue for our K-12 classrooms to make up for this shortfall.
Unfortunately, earlier this week the House Budget Committee voted for a supplemental budget that failed to include these resources. If allowed to stand, this would leave Missouri’s K-12 classrooms $44.1 million short of what the legislature appropriated to K-12 education for the current fiscal year.
Cutting $44.1 million from this year’s budget will leave our local schools with less money than was promised to them for the current school year. The committee’s refusal to include these education funds is unnecessary and unacceptable, as general revenue is available to support this supplemental request. When this measure comes to the floor, I urge you to restore this $44.1 million to ensure that our schools receive the resources upon which their budgets are based and upon which they are depending.
I ask you to live up to the commitments made in the budget you passed last year and immediately restore this essential funding, so that our classrooms get the resources they need and were promised.
Jeremiah W. Nixon
Dear Governor Nixon:
Thank you for your letter of February 20, 2014, regarding the $44.1 million not included in the FY 2014 supplemental budget.
I am surprised that we are even discussing a supplemental bill because last year, for the third year in a row, your office told us that we would not need a supplemental budget for 2014. We asked specifically if you were sure of that and we were given assurances from your office no supplemental would be needed. Further, the Budget Committee last year appropriated the exact amount of money that you told us would be available for riverboat gaming. This was your estimate, not ours. It is also an estimate that your administration for riverboat gaming and lottery continues to believe will be available.
It is clear now that your office was incorrect regarding its assertion regarding the need for a supplemental budget and was incorrect with regard to its estimate of available money. Given these facts, I suggest that it is more reasonable for you to engage in rational conversation with House Budget Committee members instead of throwing incendiary press bombs from 10,000 feet. While I cannot speak for the entire Budget Committee, I believe that every single member of that Committee would be pleased to discuss with you, or your office, reasonable ways to work out the differences. If the concept of reasonable negotiation to settle budget problems is an approach attractive to you, I am sure the Chair and any other member of the Budget Committee would accommodate your schedule for such conversation.
Originally in February 21 MOScout.