Mo. Gov. Nixon proposes education funding boost - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Mo. Gov. Nixon proposes education funding boost

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (WGEM) -

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is proposing additional money for K-12 schools, colleges and universities and early childhood programs in the next budget.

The governor's budget released Monday for the fiscal year that starts July 1 would add $66 million into Missouri's roughly $3 billion school funding formula. But state government would need to add a total of $686 million next academic year to meet the full amount called for by the formula.

Nixon proposes to increase funding for public colleges and universities by an average of 4%, with each institution's raise based upon performance.

The proposed budget also calls for doubling state funding for preschool and early childhood programs.

The Governor is also calling on lawmakers to expand Medicaid coverage for low-income adults and authorize hundreds of millions of dollars of bonds for improvements to schools, parks and state buildings.

He proposed a $25.7 billion operating budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1, including $900 million of federal funds for the Medicaid expansion.

Nixon's plan would eliminate a tax break for low-income seniors and disabled residents who rent their homes and direct the money to other services for them.

He proposes to fund the bond program by paring back existing tax credits for low-income housing, the renovation of historic buildings and other programs.

Nixon is also vowing to back a ballot initiative to restore limits on campaign contribution if lawmakers refuse to approve them.

Nixon said Missouri must reinstate strict limits on how much money candidates can receive from individual donors.

If lawmakers don't approve contribution limits, the Democratic governor said he will do everything within his power to ensure that a citizens' initiative makes the ballot and is approved by a statewide vote.

Missouri's Republican-led Legislature repealed the state's campaign contribution limits in 2008. They argued that the limits led big donors to funnel money to politicians through a variety of obscure committees. Republicans said unlimited donations made it easier for people to track the money.

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