The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

January 20, 2014

Nixon to make case for education spending

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Gov. Jay Nixon was still making finishing touches to his State of the State address on Monday — a day before he is set to deliver his sixth annual speech to a joint session of the Missouri General Assembly.

During his only public event on Monday, Nixon said the speech was still “a little long,” and that he and aides would spend much of the day refining the language and rehearsing ahead of its delivery tonight.

“I’m going to make a strong case for maintaining fiscal discipline, a very strong case for how the best economic development tool we have is education, and how that at this defining moment for our state we should not miss the opportunity to make the strategic investments that will pay big dividends for our state for generations to come,” he said.

Nixon made the remarks during a visit to Lincoln University in Jefferson City, where he announced that his fiscal 2015 budget proposal will include $10 million for the state to renovate a soon-to-be-vacated hospital in the capital city that would become space for the university to expand its nursing and culinary arts programs.

The $10 million announcement was another in a series of calls Nixon has made for new education funding in the lead-up to his annual address. Last month, he called for $20 million in funding aimed at training 1,200 college students for careers in mental health fields under his Caring for Missourians initiative. Nixon previously had called for an additional $36.7 million for higher education funding in order to freeze college tuition and for a $15 million boost to the state’s Bright Flight scholarship program.

Nixon’s proposals for more than $81.7 million in increased education spending come at the same time he has pledged to fully fund the state’s foundation formula for K-12 education by the end of his term — a nearly $594 million feat.

Specifics of his budget will be revealed tonight, but what is known already is that Nixon and the General Assembly have not agreed on a consensus revenue estimate, which aims to predict the likely growth in state revenues for the next fiscal year. Nixon’s administration has estimated $486 million in growth on top of the $8.1 billion in tax revenues brought in this fiscal year, while the General Assembly is estimating $346 million. A stalemate over the $140 million gap is likely.

Nixon said the “time has come and gone” for that debate, and that his budget will be based on the higher figure.

“The unemployment rate is going down, the economy is ticking back up, and I am a little more optimistic,” he said. “I don’t mean to minimize what ($140 million) is, because it’s a lot of money. But in a budget of $25 billion, a revenue differential of what’s going to happen 17 months from now of only ($140 million) is a pretty small differential. I wouldn’t make it more dramatic than that small figure.”

Rep. Tom Flanigan, R-Carthage, who serves on the House Budget Committee, said the tentative plan of the House is to cut back Nixon’s plan by whatever the difference ends up being.

“Nixon’s going to tell us on Tuesday he wants to fully fund the foundation formula, buildings around the state, give some money to children, this that and the other — and we’re not using the same numbers,” he said. “We’re going to do what we normally do.”

Flanigan acknowledged that consensus revenue estimates in recent years have underestimated what the economic growth actually ended up being, but he said it is wise to use the smaller figure when budgeting tax dollars.

“We’re really conservative and we’re dealing with somebody else’s money, so I’d rather take the lower road and be responsible. If you budget conservatively and then the numbers come in higher, in a more crisp pace, you can bank some money,” he said, pointing to last session when the General Assembly used the extra dollars to target a handful of state building projects.

Time and website

GOV. JAY NIXON’S address will take place at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast on the state’s website,

Text Only
Local News
  • Last two safe room projects up for Joplin School Board approval

    The Joplin Board of Education during its meeting tonight will consider more than $2.4 million in bid packages for safe rooms at Columbia and West Central elementary schools.

    April 20, 2014

  • AndraBryanStefanoni.jpg Andra Bryan Stefanoni: Mosaic pieces together purpose

    Today I want to tell you about a man named John — a man I never knew existed until last week. And yet he’s making a difference in my community. He is an individual served by Mosaic of Southeast Kansas, which also, I learned, is making a difference.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • 042017 Jo Ellis_c.jpg Jo Ellis: Carthage Historic Preservation to re-create trolley era

    Recapturing history is difficult, but recapturing history without a building, an artifact or a singular focal point is even harder. To celebrate National Historic Preservation Month, Carthage Historic Preservation wants to recapture an era and an experience that have been gone from the city for almost 80 years: the era of the trolley (or tram) cars that provided public transportation.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SusanRedden.jpg Susan Redden: Candidates for associate judge address GOP group

    The response was all but unanimous among four candidates seeking two Jasper County associate circuit judge positions. Asked to cite the biggest obstacle to justice in Jasper County, three of the four said the most prevalent challenge is getting the needed time on a busy court docket.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Money to area lawmakers slows down but doesn’t stop

    With the Legislature back in session, the flow of campaign cash to local candidates has slowed. But in this election year, the money did not completely stop. All members of the local delegation to the Missouri General Assembly are on the ballot this year, but only two lawmakers are facing opposition.

    April 20, 2014

  • Joplin City Council to hear baseball plan details

    Proposed redevelopment plans for Joe Becker Stadium will be discussed with the Joplin City Council in a work session at the end of its regular meeting tonight. The WLD Suarez partnership has obtained a franchise of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball that succeeds the El Paso (Texas) Diablos.

    April 20, 2014

  • 041814 EPA projects5_72.jpg Contaminated mine tailings could be used on west bypass

    About 500 acres of former mining land at Wildwood Ranch have been reclaimed by contractors working for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. More than 1 million cubic yards of contaminated mine tailings in the form of chat and waste rock have been consolidated in a surface repository that someday could be part of the roadbed for a limited-access highway that transportation planners hope to build on the west side of Joplin.

    April 20, 2014 4 Photos

  • 041914 Wedding1_72.jpg VIDEO: Cancer patient walks down aisle in wedding thrown by friends

    A year ago, Schandera Jordan was diagnosed with a rare form cervical cancer. And months after a radical hysterectomy, doctors confirmed the worst: The cancer had spread to her lungs and pancreas.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0420earthday.jpg Prairie State Park kicks off Earth Day events

    Prairie State Park began celebrating Earth Day early with an event Saturday that provided a chance for people of all ages to learn more about how they can protect the environment.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • r041614giregabby.jpg SLIDE SHOW: Teen with cystic fibrosis finds widespread support

    When the Nevada Show Choir performs its spring show on stage, it’s impossible to pick out the student with cystic fibrosis because there are no outward clues.
    Gabby Gire, 18, is just another performer. She sings, she dances, she smiles for the audience.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo 1 Slideshow

Must Read


The United States is considering deploying about 150 soldiers for military exercises to begin in Poland and Estonia in the next few weeks, following Russia's buildup of forces near its border with Ukraine. Do you think we should deploy these troops?

     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter