House slams door shut on increase in Nixon's travel budget

The Missouri House of Representatives finished debate on Tuesday on the state TMs budget.The $23 billion budget keeps a flat funding model for Missouri TMs schools, and cuts funding for Universities.The budget also makes significant changes to the way Governor Jay Nixon will travel in the future.While Nixon is not the first Governor to bill various agencies for travel expenses, his travel became a flash point for political fodder this year.If the economic director is with me, and some of his staff, his office pays a portion of the cost when we TMre going to create jobs in the state of Missouri, Nixon said previously about the subject.But in hard economic times, the state House said that TMs not good enough.If the Governor needs to travel to do a press conference, he can cut salaries in his own office, said Rep. Ryan Silvey (R), House budget chairman.Initially the House barred the practice of billing other agencies for travel, but offset that with an increase in Gov. Nixon TMs travel budget. A St. Louis Democrat fought that budget increase and won.We have the highest crime rate when it comes to murder in the nation, said Rep. Jamilah Nasheed (D). And I can tell you that those individuals that are reaping havoc in the city of St. Louis are individuals that have dropped out of the St. Louis Public Schools.So the $500,000 proposed budget increase for Nixon was redirected to a program that fights inner-city school dropouts. Republicans were happy to redirect the money, but some Democrats disagreed.This is manipulation of the Governor TMs office and manipulation of these kids, said Rep. Chris Kelly (D), Columbia. Mr. Speaker, I think this is despicable.The vote was overwhelming in its support of the amendment to give the money to the dropout program.The House budget now bans every agency in the state except the Department of Public Safety from paying for a state official TMs travel.The budget debate now moves to the Missouri State Senate.