If you are a fan of the state spending more of your money, be sure and thank your state lawmakers for a job well done when you spot them out on the campaign trail this summer.
If Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, would have gotten his way, spending would be going down this fiscal year, which started on July 1.
Following several amendments, the governor's budget proposal would have cut year-over-year spending by around 1 percent this fiscal year.
Republican lawmakers, who overwhelmingly control the Missouri General Assembly, not only restored the proposed cuts, they added funding.
Therefore, the state will likely increase spending this fiscal year by 3.4 percent to $24.1 billion -- an increase of $801.6 million compared to what was appropriated last year by state lawmakers.
Nixon did veto $240,000 in funding appropriated by lawmakers, citing legal technicalities in three of the items. He also restricted $15 million, fearing overly-ambitious gaming revenue assumptions.
Even though the governor promised to release the funds if revenue collections come in higher than anticipated, Republicans cried foul, accusing the Democrat of playing politics in an election year.
While both parties should get credit for increasing spending, Nixon is one of only three governors -- two Democracts and one Republican -- in the last 30 years to reduce spending year-over-year.
Overall, spending has increased 468 percent from $3.9 billion in 1981 to $22.2 billion in 2011.
Expenditures for fiscal 2012 are still being calculated and are expected to be released in August.
Thanks to higher appropriations by Republicans, expenditures are likely to increase again this year.
By Brian R. Hook, email@example.com, (314) 482-7944
Hook is editor of Missouri Journal, which tracks the economy across the Show-Me State.
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