Below are the prepared remarks made by Gov. Jay Nixon at his news conference this evening regarding Senate Bill 509:
“This afternoon, the Missouri House voted to send to my desk a bill that takes $620 million annually from public education and other priorities.
“This legislation will get a thorough review over the coming days and weeks – but it’s worth noting that on its face, this year’s reckless fiscal experiment looks a lot like last year’s reckless fiscal experiment.
“Once again, supporters of this fiscally irresponsible scheme are trotting out discredited economic theories and excuses.
“Once again, members of the legislature have chosen to ignore evidence that Missouri is already a low-tax state – sixth-lowest in the nation.
“Once again, they’ve chosen to disregard that Missouri’s economy is moving forward – and outpacing our neighbors – on the strength of our skilled workforce.
“And once again, the General Assembly has voted to take money out of our public schools – hundreds of millions a year – and give it to some folks who don’t need it.
“With four weeks left in the session, I wanted to take a moment to talk about the actions this legislature has taken so far this year, and the values those actions reflect.
“In this session, the majority in the legislature has:
- Voted to raise sales taxes on Missourians;
- Voted to borrow money for unnecessary building projects;
- Allowed wasteful tax credit expenditures to continue unchecked;
- And again and again, launched an all-out attack on public education in our state.
“Taken together, these actions threaten to take what has been a AAA-rated state with a solid record of fiscal discipline and certainty and put it at risk.
“Those are not our values, and that’s not how we’ll move our state forward.
“Earlier today, I was in Kansas City to cut the ribbon on another high-tech expansion. And like companies we hear from around the world, the CEO said that the most important factor in their decision to relocate to Kansas City, Missouri, was the availability of a highly skilled workforce.
“That’s why it’s so troubling that this legislature’s economic development plan is to take money out of our classrooms…to make college less affordable…in order to give more special breaks to lawyers and lobbyists.
“Creating jobs, strengthening communities, and growing our economy: these are the goals we share. So I will continue to work with the General Assembly to invest in the one thing we know will help us achieve them – good schools and a workforce that can compete worldwide.”