JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri State Auditor Tom Schweich says he has filed a lawsuit alleging Gov. Jay Nixon violated the state constitution by withholding more than $170 million from agencies to help cover costs from the Joplin tornado and other disasters.
The state constitution gives the governor authority to cut money budgeted for state programs when actual revenues fall below the estimates upon which the budget was based.
Nixon says he was exercising that power when he announced cuts in June to public colleges, school busing and other programs for the fiscal year that began in July. He cited the disasters as part of the reason for the spending cuts.
But Schweich says Nixon's administration lacked the accounting data to justify the cuts and wrongly made them before the budget year began.