UPDATE, 5:05 p.m.: Jay Nixon has vetoed the tax bill. That gives the legislature time to fix the First Steps funding problem, if it chooses to do so.
By DAVE HELLING
Gov. Jay Nixon of Missouri stopped in Kansas City Tuesday on a now-familiar campaign-style tour pushing a piece of legislation.
In this case, it’s $20 million in general state revenue for First Steps, a program that provides early intervention and counseling for children with disabilities, and their parents.
In the state budget that passed last week, full funding of the program was made contingent on eliminating a tax break for low-income seniors.
“For whatever reason, (they’re) attempting to pit various groups against each other in some sort of ploy here,” Nixon told the audience at the Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired. “That is neither amusing nor acceptable.”
Republicans believe Nixon will veto the bill eliminating the tax break, potentially threatening funding for First Steps and other programs.
Most Republicans support First Steps, but linked the program with the tax bill so Nixon wouldn’t exercise the veto. A legislative work-out is moving through the General Assembly.
But it has to be done by Friday’s adjournment.