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23 June 2011

Nance: Explaining Vetoes and Withholdings, MOHELA Funds Diverted, Excelsior Springs Fireworks

Earlier this month, Governor Nixon announced his vetoes and withholds in the state budget. The total in all areas amounted to about $172 million.

When reviewing the budget, the governor can either veto a spending item or withhold the funds. If he vetoes the appropriation, the money is simply not spent and is no longer part of the budget. If he chooses to withhold the money, the option is available to release the money at a later date. This option is used when money is not readily available, but could be later in the fiscal year. This year there was only one line-item veto, all the other reductions were withholds.

The largest withhold is an appropriation for almost $100 million in college and university construction projects funded through MOHELA dollars. Four year higher education institutions also saw a reduction of in excess of $14 million from what the legislature appropriated. The governor had recommended a 7% decrease for most state supported colleges and universities. During the budget process, the legislature added money to bring the reduction under 5%. Not only did Governor Nixon withhold the added money, but in the case of two universities he withheld additional dollars to bring their reduction closer to 8%. In his accompanying message he referenced that these two institutions had increased tuition costs by over 5% and should thus have additional money available.

While vetoes are subject to a legislative over ride attempt, withholds are not. The reductions will stand unless released by the governor at a later date.

Missouri River

The Corps of Engineers has been releasing water from Gavin’s Point and it looks to be a long Summer for those along the river with heavy flows expected into August..

Major flood fighting is ongoing near Rock Port in Atchison County. Flood fighting is very active at many locations in Holt County, Missouri. Parkville is also bracing for high waters. We can only hope that flooding problems will only exist in the Northwest part of the state, but it won’t take much rain to threaten the Ray County area.

In the District

Water fest begins Friday in Excelsior Springs and the parade is Saturday. Up to five Kansas City Chiefs are scheduled for autographs. Fireworks will be displayed at dusk.

I attended the Richmond area Family Community Education meeting on Wednesday and gave two dolls to the Ray County Health Department as compliments of the group. They stay active by hand making dolls to help children in need.

I recently traveled to Boonville for the anniversary of the Civil War. There was a tremendous turnout along with battle reenactments and period general stores.

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