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JEFFERSON CITY, MO (AP) – Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon’s administration has been paying its dues to the National Governors Association with money intended for foster care oversight and other social services.

State financial figures show that Nixon’s administration has paid about $390,000 in dues to the group over the past three years from the budget of the Department of Social Services. More than half of that money has come from the department’s administration of the Children’s Division, which oversees the foster care program.

House Republican leaders on Wednesday denounced the payment method as “disturbing” and “deceptive.”

Nixon spokesman Scott Holste said House leaders should already have been well-aware of the dues payments. He called their newfound concerns a “diversionary stunt” as the legislative session draws to a close this week.