Missouri auditor questions Nixon's budget cuts

Friday, August 19, 2011

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Missouri State Auditor Tom Schweich is questioning whether Gov. Jay Nixon exceeded his authority when he made budget cuts partly to help pay for disaster response.

The Republican auditor sent a letter Friday to the Democratic governor outlining his concerns.

Nixon said in June he was withholding more than $170 million from the budget in part to help fund the response to several tornadoes and the floods on the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. The cuts included reductions in funding for higher education and school busing.

Schweich says he believes Nixon had no right under Missouri's laws or constitution to make those cuts.

Nixon spokesman Scott Holste says Schweich is wrong. Holste says Nixon will continue to ensure the budget is balanced and that local communities get help with disaster recovery.

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