Gov. Jay Nixon today issued the following statement on Senate Bill 509, which received first-round approval in the Missouri Senate last week. A revised fiscal note prepared by the legislature projects that the legislation would cost the state budget more than $620 million annually when fully implemented.
“At a time when public education is more important than ever to the strength of our economy, Senate Bill 509 would permanently undermine Missouri’s ability to support K-12 and higher education,” Gov. Nixon said. “In fact, with a price tag of more than $620 million annually, Senate Bill 509 is the equivalent of wiping out the investments needed to fully fund our K-12 foundation formula and keep college affordable. Once again, the choice facing members of the General Assembly is clear: they can invest in good schools and create good jobs or they can support reckless fiscal experiments, but they cannot do both.”
With an increase of $278 million for K-12 education, Gov. Nixon’s “Good Schools, Good Jobs” plan would fully fund the K-12 foundation formula in two years. The formula, passed into law in 2005, establishes the state’s funding level for K-12 schools and is currently underfunded by $556 million. For higher education, the Governor’s Fiscal Year 2015 budget includes an increase in core funding of $64.1 million for the state’s public colleges and universities.
Last week, the Governor said that without action to rein in wasteful tax credit expenditures, discussion of tax cuts was a “nonstarter.”