Missouri Senate supports limits on governor's budget cuts

Thursday, February 27, 2014 | 4:05 p.m. CST; updated 7:56 p.m. CST, Friday, February 28, 2014

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri governors would be barred from making budget cuts to schools under a proposed constitutional amendment passed by the Senate.

The proposal approved Thursday also would prohibit governors from withholding money budgeted to pay public debts.

The Senate's 30-2 vote sends the measure to the House. If passed there, the proposed constitutional amendment would go before voters later this year.

The Missouri Constitution already prohibits governors from making line-item vetoes to budget bills for public schools or debt. But governors currently can freeze or reduce the budgeted spending for any program.

Last year, Gov. Jay Nixon temporarily froze part of the money budgeted for public schools while pressing lawmakers to sustain his veto of an income tax cut. He released the money after the veto override attempt failed.

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