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State of the State to be delivered tonight

January 26, 2005
By: Josh Hinkle
State Capital Bureau

Legislative goals and the upcoming budget are on the agenda for tonight's State of the State address. Josh Hinkle has a preview of what Missourians can expect from Gov. Matt Blunt's speech.

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His campaign promised to end reckless spending... now Gov. Matt Blunt will have the chance to show how he plans to do just that in tonight's State of the State address.

The governor has said public schools are his top priority... and, as long as he's governor, won't see any cutbacks.

Still, he shows strong opposition to a tax increase... and state lawmakers wonder then, how he plans to balance the budget.

Republicans predict an increase in general revenue of about $150 million during the coming fiscal year.

Blunt says this money could quickly be eaten up by mandatory spending programs like Medicaid.

He will address these points to a joint session of the Legislature tonight at 7:00 in the House chamber.

Like his inaugural speech, he promises this one will be shorter than past governors' speeches

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Traditionally, the State of the State address has been held in the morning. And while Gov. Matt Blunt says a later time was chosen to give more Missourians a chance to hear the speech, Josh Hinkle tells us why Democrats are saying Blunt has other reasons behind the timing.

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Tonight's State of the State address will be very different than in years past.

Like his inaugural speech, Republican Gov. Matt Blunt promises a much shorter speech.

The time has changed... from a morning address to 7:00 at night.

And, for the first time in history, the opposing party will deliver a response to the governor's address.

Senate Minority Leader, St. Louis Democrat Maida Coleman, says these are all moves that have a peculiar similarity to the administration in Washington, D.C.

She says Blunt's administration has yet to distinguish itself... for instance, an evening address is traditionally a D.C. move.

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Like Blunt, Democrats are also following a national pattern... with opposing remarks to be delivered by State Attorney General Jay Nixon directly after the governor's remarks.

Coleman says voters that elected Democratic leaders expect an expression of Democratic views.

Representing both parties, Blunt and Nixon will present their goals and concerns tonight beginning at 7.