The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Tornado: Columns

August 21, 2011

Susan Redden: State officials argue about disaster money

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is under fire from two different fronts, both relating to plans for a special legislative session in which the Joplin tornado and its economic impact will most certainly be a topic.

State Auditor Tom Schweich, a Republican, released a letter Friday saying the governor has exceeded his authority by withholding more than $170 million from the budget to help in the response to natural disasters in the state, including the tornado that hit the Joplin area on May 22 and flooding elsewhere in the state.

The cuts trimmed funding for higher education and school busing, and Schweich said he does not believe the Missouri Constitution allows the governor to make those cuts. He also said he has discussed other avenues for disaster funding in his own meeting with Joplin officials.

A spokesman for Nixon disagreed with the auditor’s assertion, and said the governor will continue to ensure that the budget is balanced and that local communities get help with disaster recovery.

“Gov. Nixon will continue to ensure that Missouri will meet its obligations to help communities recover and rebuild in the wake of the many natural disasters this year, including the devastating tornado that hit Joplin,” said Nixon spokesman Scott Holste. “The governor will continue to fulfill his responsibility to balance the state budget, fund necessary services and help our communities recover from these disasters.”

Disaster spending is among the issues that will be on the agenda for a special legislative session being discussed by Nixon and legislative leaders.

Spurring job growth in the state is another goal of the session.

Meanwhile, leaders of the Republican-controlled Senate and House sent a letter to the Democratic governor last week, calling on him to set a firm date for calling the Legislature into session.

The letter, from Robert Mayer, Senate president, and Steven Tilley, speaker of the House, said the Legislature in the special session “has the hard task to pass, in a limited time, the most sweeping jobs and fiscal accountability legislation ever attempted.”

The letter said lawmakers are committed to pass the legislation, but that they will fail if the governor communicates with their offices only by press release on the scope and nature of the call for the session.

“You cannot expect us to succeed if you exempt critical reforms and ignore months of work that both House and Senate leaders have spent to write this historic legislation,” the two leaders wrote. “The people of our great state expect more from its elected leadership.”

A spokesman for Nixon said the governor’s office is on track to begin the session in early September. Legislative leaders have said they want a Sept. 6 staring date, in advance of the regularly scheduled veto session set for Sept. 14.

SUSAN REDDEN is a staff writer for the Globe. She can be reached at sredden@joplinglobe.com or 417-623-3480, ext. 7258.

1
Text Only
Tornado: Columns
  • Premier Turbines plant in Neosho to close, 80 jobs lost

    Premier Turbines will close its Neosho plant some time in early 2015.
    Chris Pratt, director of communications for Dallas Airmotive, which has owned the plant since 2003, said 80 jobs will be cut.

    June 26, 2014

  • Susan Redden: McCaskill praises Joplin cooperation

    At least two things she saw in Joplin need to be replicated in Washington, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill said during a visit last week.
    A strong spirit of cooperation is driving Joplin’s rebuilding, she said. And,  the senator said there is a realization “that federal programs have a place.”

    August 28, 2011

  • Mark Rohr, guest columnist: Miracle of the human spirit ever-pervasive since tornado

    Monday marks 100 days since the worst tornado in our country in the past 70 years tore through our community, leaving lost lives and destroyed property in its wake. As I have said before, that fateful day in late May will be the defining moment in all of our lives whether we want it to be or not.

    August 28, 2011

  • Ron Richard, guest columnist: Partnership can spur recovery

    The tornado that ravaged Joplin and the flooding affecting Missouri River towns and businesses are both human and economic tragedies.

    August 28, 2011

  • Wally Kennedy: Flocks expected for Chick-fil-A opening

    The stocking of the Chick-fil-A restaurant at 2127 S. Range Line Road is under way in preparation for a grand reopening on Thursday. The restaurant was among 25 or so eateries on Main Street and Range Line Road that were destroyed by the May 22 tornado.

    August 27, 2011

  • Susan Redden: State officials argue about disaster money

    Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is under fire from two different fronts, both relating to plans for a special legislative session in which the Joplin tornado and its economic impact will most certainly be a topic.

    August 21, 2011

  • Wally Kennedy: Walgreen’s to reopen both stores Monday

    Monday will be a big day for two of the three stores that Walgreen’s operates in Joplin. The Walgreen’s at 20th and Main streets sustained significant damage on May 22. It was at the north edge of the tornado’s damage zone. It has had a major makeover.

    August 20, 2011

  • Aspen Bowman Roger Nomer: Image a ‘revelation’ for photographer

    The sky looked dark, but nothing more unusual than a typical springtime storm.
    I was on duty May 22 at the Globe, and had just finished taking photos of Joplin High School’s graduation when the storm sirens started to sound at Missouri Southern State University.

     

    August 19, 2011 1 Photo

  • Jo Ellis: Small deeds will make a big impact

    A big, big thanks to all who have called, emailed or written to me saying they want to participate in Nature-Joplin (Nurture a Tree-Urban Reforestation Effort-Joplin) to help Joplin recover from the May 22 tornado that scoured the landscape.

    August 14, 2011

  • Andra Bryan Stefanoni: Safe room will always be reminder of May 22

    The afternoon of May 22, I emailed a story to my editor from my home office just before the tornado sirens sounded in Pittsburg.

    August 14, 2011