Nixon's budget freeze to hit UM System core funding, appropriations

Friday, June 28, 2013 | 7:10 p.m. CDT; updated 3:50 p.m. CDT, Saturday, June 29, 2013

COLUMBIA — The state budget freeze Gov. Jay Nixon imposed Friday includes a $33.7 million freeze on core funding for University of Missouri System institutions.

Nixon also froze $600,000 in UM-related programs funding, a $10 million appropriation to fund a cooperative medical school program between MU and Missouri State University in Springfield and a $1 million appropriation for the MU large animal veterinary program.

Nixon announced at a Jefferson City news conference he is putting on hold $400 million of Missouri’s fiscal year 2014 budget to prepare for a possible override of House Bill 253, an income tax bill he vetoed on June 5.

Legislators could override Nixon’s veto during a special session in September, after the budget takes effect, the governor said. 

Nixon said the threat of an override and a resulting budget shortfall forced him to take action. He estimates HB 253 would cost Missouri at least $800 million in lost revenue. 

"House Bill 253 is a dangerous experiment we simply cannot afford," Nixon said during the press conference. "But no governor can responsibly manage a state budget on the assumption that a veto will be sustained."

The fiscal year 2014 budget for the UM System, which the Board of Curators approved earlier this month, was based on an anticipated 1 percent increase in state appropriations.

The fiscal year 2013 budget estimated state appropriations would account for 14 percent of budget revenue, while the 2014 budget assumed 15 percent.

UM System President Tim Wolfe expressed particular concern Friday about the possibility of cuts to the cooperative medical program, saying he hoped the General Assembly would not override the veto.

"We are looking forward to September when the governor's veto of this legislation is sustained so that funding for such projects as the University of Missouri medical school expansion in Springfield, which addresses the vitally important, urgent need for doctors in southwest Missouri, will be released," Wolfe said in a statement.

Supervising editor is Elizabeth Brixey

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