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Nixon Releases Some School Funds

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.

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