Missouri lawmakers uncertain about budget powers

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Missouri lawmakers have mixed opinions about whether they can use a new constitutional amendment to override some of Gov. Jay Nixon’s budget cuts when they go into session in January.

Voters in November approved an amendment that allows the Legislature to reverse a governor’s spending restrictions by a two-thirds vote in both chambers _ just as it already can do on a governor’s vetoes.

Nixon currently is restricting about $700 million of spending as a result of actions he took when the budget year began last July.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Kurt Schaefer believes the new amendment could be cited to overturn Nixon’s spending restrictions.

But incoming House Budget Chairman Tom Flanigan believes the amendment can’t be used to reverse an action that occurred before voters adopted the amendment.