Missouri highway agency poll triggers budget veto

Friday, June 26, 2009 | 2:03 p.m. CDT

JEFFERSON CITY — Gov. Jay Nixon has vetoed money for the Missouri Department of Transportation because of a public opinion poll about a motorcycle helmet law.

The department spent about $33,000 on a poll showing a majority of people in favor of a Missouri law requiring all motorcycle riders to wear helmets.

Department director Pete Rahn has cited the poll while urging Nixon to veto a bill allowing people age 21 and older to ride helmet-free on all Missouri roads except interstate highways.

Nixon said last month that it was inappropriate for the department to spend public money on a poll to lobby elected officials.

On Thursday, he vetoed $33,000 from the transportation budget citing "administrative inefficiencies." A Nixon spokesman confirmed Friday that the veto was in response to the poll.


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