Session meets mixed reviews from Republicans, Democrats
Sat, 18 May 2013 15:20:00 GMT —
The legislative session ended at 6 p.m. Friday, meeting mixed reviews from Republicans and Democrats.
The Republican-led House highlighted its successes in a post-session press conference, including tax credit reform, bills for second amendment protection and education funding.
"We made sure that we provided historic levels of funding for K-12 education, and also funded higher education at higher levels this year," House Speaker Tim Jones said.
One down-to-the-wire issue lawmakers had to address was finding the funding for programs for developmentally disabled youth and services for the blind.
Funding for these programs was outlined in the budget through a repeal of tax breaks for low-income seniors and disabled residents. Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed that repeal, so lawmakers passed a bill Friday that would transfer $55 million from general revenues to a separate fund for those programs.
Nixon acknowledged what he deemed to be successes, like the funding for elementary and higher education, and failures of the session.
Most notable, Nixon called his failed Medicaid expansion plan a "missed opportunity."
"Hundreds of thousands of working Missourians will needlessly go without health coverage, and the dollars that Missouri tax payers send to Washington will be sent to other states instead," Nixon said.
The General Assembly also failed to pass a one-cent sales tax that would go toward transportation improvements.
The tax, sponsored by State Senator Mike Kehoe of Jefferson City, would go toward improvements to highways, local roads, railroads, airports and other forms of mass transit.
Nixon has until July 14 to either sign or veto the bills passed during the session.