Lawyers for Missouri’s governor and auditor are battling before the state Supreme Court over the governor’s power to make spending cuts.
The Supreme Court was to hear arguments Wednesday on the constitutionality of about $170 million of budget cuts announced by Gov. Jay Nixon in June 2011 and challenged by Auditor Tom Schweich.
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The case is an appeal of a July decision by a Cole County judge, who ruled that Nixon had a legal right to cut spending but also said that Nixon should not have been able to transfer money among various budgeted purposes.
In particular, Circuit Judge Jon Beetem ruled that it was unlawful for legislators to give executive agencies the flexibility to spend more than the specific dollar amount listed on budget line items.