Gov. Jay Nixon

Gov. Jay Nixon’s announcement to freeze $400 million in state funding for education and state services makes no sense, said the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, following the governor’s press conference.

“Gov. Nixon is playing Obama-style politics,” said Missouri Chamber President and CEO Dan Mehan. “Like Obama’s sequester cuts, Nixon is withholding money from the state’s most visible state services as a threat to lawmakers considering his override of House Bill 253. We’re calling his bluff.”

The Missouri Chamber questions the logic of withholding funding for fiscal year 2014, when the vast majority of cuts in House Bill 253 would not impact state revenue until the following fiscal budget and beyond. At the same time, the amnesty provision of the legislation would impact fiscal year 2014 — in a positive way by bringing in additional revenue. Further, the tax relief only goes into effect if state revenues increase by $100 million each year.

“Gov. Nixon is taking money out of classrooms and out of state workers’ pockets at a time when he is sitting on a $350 million surplus,” said Mehan. “He has already taken away a tax cut from every Missourian and every Missouri employer by vetoing House Bill 253.”

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry is actively lobbying to secure legislative support for a veto override of House Bill 253 during the September veto session.