Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon on Monday announced his plan to restore nearly $5 million in state funding for the Truman Sports Complex and Bartle Hall.
Those dollars were eliminated in Nixon’s proposed budget for next fiscal year without explanation.
Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders recently asked Nixon to restore the $3 million that the state spends each year to support Arrowhead and Kauffman stadiums, the homes of the Chiefs and Royals.
Kansas City officials, meanwhile, lobbied for restoration of the full $2 million in state funding for the city’s convention center. Under Nixon’s budget, Bartle Hall would have received just $333,335 in the fiscal year that starts July 1.
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“A governor’s amendment of $5 million to the FY2016 budget is being submitted to address this issue and ensure the state continues to meet its obligations to the Truman Sports Complex and Bartle Hall,” Nixon spokesman Scott Holste wrote in an email. “We appreciate County Executive Sanders for bringing this matter to our attention so that it could be addressed in a timely fashion.”
Before the Nixon administration’s announcement, there were some anxious moments at City Hall and the Jackson County Courthouse. The state subsidy has been built into the budgets of the sports complex and Bartle Hall since the payments started in 1991.
Holste did not respond directly to the question of how the mistake was made. “The important thing is that it’s been brought to our attention and now resolved,” he said.
City and county officials said they were told it was a $5 million mistake. “This appears to be a clerical error,” said Calvin Williford, Sanders’ chief of staff.
The proposed cuts stung in that Nixon’s budget showed no reduction in the $12 million subsidy that the state sends St. Louis for debt service and upkeep of its football stadium, the Edward Jones Dome.
The Kansas City payments are part of the same legislative deal crafted more than two decades ago to help St. Louis attract an NFL team by building the dome.
The Rams took the field there in 1995. Now that the team is threatening to leave for Los Angeles, Nixon is backing construction of a nearly $1 billion stadium on the St. Louis riverfront. State funding would be part of that package.