Democratic lawmaker defends reasoning behind state auditor's lawsuit
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Democratic lawmaker defends reasoning behind state auditor's lawsuit

Date: August 31, 2011
By: Mariel Seidman-Gati
State Capitol Bureau

The most senior Democrat in the legislature says the governor has taken his spending too far.
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Wrap: Gov. Nixon is facing criticism and a lawsuit after setting aside $150 million of the House Budget for disaster relief.

Rep. Kelly of Columbia says the governer's withholding of funds is within his constitutional right.

However, he says Nixon has taken advantage of the financial flexibility allotted to him by the legislature.

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Description: "I know that we've given him flexibility so that he could deal with difficult problems and what he's done is he's taken the flexibility that we gave him for emergency programs and run a $170 million truck through it."

Kelly says the provision allowing the governor to set aside arbitrary funds needs to be changed.

He says the legislature will do that whether the lawsuit is successful or not.

Reporting from the state Capitol, I'm Mariel Seidman-Gati


A major House Democrat says the legislature must limit the governor's budget flexibility.
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Wrap: Governor Jay Nixon has withheld funding from several government agencies for use on disaster relief efforts.

But now he is facing a lawsuit from State Auditor Tom Schweich.

Representative Chris Kelly of Columbia says that although he agrees with Schweich's reasoning, Nixon has not violated the Missouri constitution.

Kelly says the governor has abused his authority.

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Description: "Because I think the governor has substantially overused the flexibility that the legislature has allowed him in the budget. He has essentially usurped the right to appropriate."

Kelly also says the issue must be resolved in the appropriation process and not in court.

Reporting from the state Capitol, I'm Mariel Seidman-Gati

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