Gov. Nixon gives last State of the State address

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ The latest on developments Wednesday during Gov. Jay Nixon’s State of the State address (all times local): 9 p.m.

Republican lawmakers say Gov. Jay Nixon’s State of the State address outlined unrealistic spending proposals and ignored specific steps to improve Missouri’s economy.

In a news conference Wednesday evening after Nixon’s eighth and final annual address, House Speaker Todd Richardson said Nixon’s speech was more of a victory lap than a proposal to move Missouri forward. He said Missouri’s improving employment numbers hide the fact that wages are stagnant.

Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard said the Senate will not heed the governor’s call to add sexual orientation and gender identity to nondiscrimination laws.

Senate Appropriations Chairman Kurt Schaefer said the governor’s budget proposal accommodates too much welfare spending. He said expanding Medicaid isn’t going to happen.

8:15 p.m.

Missouri’s GOP state House speaker is slamming Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon as being all talk and no action.

Speaker Todd Richardson on Wednesday delivered the Republican response to Nixon’s final State of the State address as governor.

Nixon is barred from seeking re-election because of term limits. He first was elected in 2008.

Richardson during his address said House and Senate leaders are backing a cost-sharing program to help pay for repairs to state roads and bridges. The idea is to split costs between the state and local governments.

Richardson also touted a previously enacted income-tax cut that will gradually reduce taxes for “every Missouri entrepreneur and family.”

He says that lawmakers will pass a bill requiring state agencies to fact-check applicants for Medicaid.

This item has been corrected to show that Richardson touted lawmakers’ past work to enact an income tax cut, and was not pushing for a new cut.

8:10 p.m.

Missouri Gov. Nixon is calling for regulating and taxing online fantasy sports leagues.

Nixon said Wednesday in his State of the State address that the online gambling is completely unregulated and lobbyists want to keep it that way.

“Let’s get real,” Nixon said. “This is gambling, kids are playing, and it’s completely unregulated.”

Nixon said treating online fantasy sports like other casinos in the state could bring in millions of dollars for education.

8 p.m.

Gov. Jay Nixon has called on Missouri lawmakers to expand nondiscrimination laws to include sexual orientation and gender identity.

Nixon said in his State of the State address Wednesday that nobody should be discriminated against because of who they love.

Nondiscrimination laws cover housing, employment and public accommodations.

The ACLU of Missouri said adding the LGBT community to nondiscrimination laws would grant them basic legal protections.

Some House Democrats stood and applauded Nixon’s calls to bar discrimination against LGBT people. Republicans sat silent.

7:40 p.m.

Gov. Jay Nixon says he wants to sign into law a small increase in Missouri’s fuel tax.

The governor said Wednesday in his State of the State address that a bill from the Senate’s transportation chairman is a fair way to pay for roadwork. Doug Libla, a Poplar Bluff Republican, has proposed increasing the tax by 1.5 cents-per-gallon for gasoline and 3.5 cents for diesel.

Nixon said roads aren’t free and drivers should pay or updating the state’s transportation system. He said shifting money from elsewhere in the budget would be patching potholes with money for cops and schools, which he opposes.

Nixon also called for a $5 million increase in port funding.

7:15 p.m.

Gov. Jay Nixon’s proposed budget for fiscal 2016 includes a pay increase for state employees and more spending on education. Nixon is outlining his budget proposal during his eighth and final State of the State address.

The governor and legislative leaders agree that the state’s revenues will increase 4.1 percent next year.

Public universities and community colleges that freeze their undergraduate tuition rates would receive around $55.6 million more in performance-based funding under Nixon’s proposed budget.

The foundation formula for K-12 public schools would remain underfunded. Nixon has proposed increasing that funding by about $85 million. The state budget director says that would still leave it about $425 million short.

State employees would get a 2 percent pay increase starting July 1.

7:00 p.m.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is again calling for lawmakers to change state ethics policy.

During his final State of the State address Wednesday, the Democratic governor implored legislators to send him legislation to tighten ethics laws.

Nixon has called for some form of ethics policy change in every State of the State address since he took office in 2009.

None have passed, but there’s a push in the Legislature this year following scandals that put Jefferson City under the national microscope.

Two former lawmakers accused of inappropriate behavior toward interns resigned in 2015.

Republican legislative leaders support the ethics changes, meaning a top priority of Nixon’s could make it across the finish line this year.

Nixon has at times been at odds with the Republican-controlled Legislature during hi seven years as governor.

6:30 p.m.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is set to deliver his eighth and final State of the State address to a joint session of the House and Senate.

In a speech set to begin at 7 p.m., he is expected to outline his recommended budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Nixon used his previous State of the State to call for healing after protests in Ferguson. He had also called for bipartisan cooperation on funding public schools, increasing transportation spending and reforming ethics laws.

Since then, Republican leaders in the House and Senate have resigned. Protests have roiled the University of Missouri. And a Republican supermajority in both legislative chambers has overridden Nixon’s veto on cities raising their minimum wage. His veto of right to work legislation was upheld.

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