Missouri Auditor Schweich Files Lawsuit Against Dem Governor Nixon
Missouri State Auditor Tom Schweich today filed a lawsuit against Governor Jay Nixon challenging the constitutionality of his withholding of more than $170 million in state funding from education and other vital state services.
The St. Louis Business Journal reported:
Calling it a last resort, State Auditor Tom Schweich said Friday he filed a lawsuit asserting Gov. Jay Nixon violated the Missouri Constitution and failed to follow established accounting principles when he withheld more than $170 million from the budget to help offset the costs of disaster recovery.
Last week, after a scheduled audit of the governor’s office, the state auditor sent a letter to Nixon expressing concerns about the legality and financial basis for the move.
The Missouri Constitution states the governor can only make withholds based on current fiscal year revenue data, but the governor made the withholdings prior to start of the current fiscal year, Schweich’s office said.
The withholds were made from appropriated funds for a variety of organizations, including state agencies, nonprofits and educational institutions.
In June, Nixon cut $172 million from the budget that took effect July 1 to help offset the cost for disaster recovery and has pledged $150 million to help with the response to flooding along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers and for the tornadoes in Joplin and St. Louis.
“There is no dispute that the victims of the tornadoes and floods must be fully compensated for their tragic losses. But the process must be legal and transparent,” Schweich said. “There are many legal and transparent ways to do this.”