It didn’t take long for Governor Jay Nixon to release money he withheld from Missouri’s budget, but it isn’t all back yet.
On Thursday, Nixon’s office announced the release of $215 million that will mostly benefit education, just a day after his veto of a big income tax cut was allowed to stand. He’s still holding back $185 million slated for improvement projects until the 2014 budget becomes clearer.
Adding to that, a new arbitration ruling could limit the cash Missouri will get from a multi-state tobacco settlement. A panel of judges ruled Missouri and several other states didn’t hold up part of that bargain in 2003.
“We were assuming we would have $130 million from the tobacco settlement for the current year, State Budget Director Linda Luebbering says. “So the impact could be anywhere from zero to $130 million on the current year budget.”
Luebbering says in the worst-case scenario, Missouri could come up $271 million short of funding its current spending plan.