Gov. Nixon Learns About His Own Spending Authority, Cancels Special Session, Chappelle-Nadal Hardest Hit

From Speaker Tim Jones:Tim Jones

“After three days of no communication and a lack of requested information from the governor’s office, the House and Senate worked together to explain to the chief executive his own spending authority and the obvious fact that a taxpayer-funded special session is unnecessary. While I am glad that Senator Kurt Schaefer was able to provide the kind of substantive budget information that the governor should have had before ever announcing his intent to call a special session, the fact that the governor did not know how to read his own budget speaks volumes about the leadership void that currently exists in the highest office in our state.

Despite the fact we will now not meet to discuss unnecessary appropriations, it is obvious that the people of this state need and deserve answers regarding the many poor decisions made by the governor’s office during the unrest in Ferguson, from August through the present time. As the news of a potential special session broke, I was contacted by numerous citizens, public officials and members of the law enforcement community who are eager to testify before the legislature about the governor’s numerous missteps. We owe it to the people of Ferguson and to all Missourians to conduct a thorough investigation into the governor’s actions that made a difficult situation into a disaster.

My colleagues and I are in the process of activating the existing Joint Committee on Government Accountability to thoroughly examine the governor’s decisions throughout the Ferguson situation, and to take testimony from the many concerned citizens who wish to make their voices
heard on this important issue. The committee will be granted subpoena power as needed and we expect committee members to hold their first hearing in the imminent future.”

I’m sure Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal was upset to hear about this considering how long she’s been waiting for a showdown, but now she can go back to her “race war” in St. Louis. They may have their first confirmed kill.

Gov. Nixon Learns About His Own Spending Authority, Cancels Special Session, Chappelle-Nadal Hardest Hit

Speaker Tim Jones Responds to State of the State Address – Full Transcript

I’ll post video when it’s available:

image009Good evening. I am Tim Jones, Speaker of your Missouri House of Representatives. I am honored to speak with you tonight regarding a bold vision for the future of our state.

Moments ago, you heard our governor share his proposals for the direction our state should take. While his speech was rousing in rhetoric, it was short on substantive solutions.

We have heard similar speeches over the past six years, but despite the governor’s promises we have yet to see him deliver real-world results that will move our state in a better direction. Our governor mistakenly believes that more, bigger government is the answer, that his administration can decide how to better use your tax dollars, and that investments should be made in government programs rather than in the industrious people of this state.

What our governor should understand is that we already have too many tax-and-overspend, out-of-touch, career politicians in our nation’s capital. We don’t need one here standing in the way of hard-working Missouri families and businesses who want nothing more than the opportunity to grow and succeed.

This is the message I have heard from Missourians as I have traveled throughout our vast abundant state and listened directly to them. The people of Missouri believe that more government is not the answer, it is the problem.

In Joplin, I met with the owner and employees of Employer Advantage to discuss their highly-successful business that is helping more than 500 business owners. I was excited to see a Missouri company experiencing such success, but equally amazed that their business exists because of a federal government that has buried employers under reams of red tape. You see, Employer Advantage helps other businesses navigate through the endless maze of government bureaucracy. It is proof yet again that government is too big and too burdensome, that it is in fact a roadblock to the kind of growth and opportunity we want in Missouri.

In Clarence, I visited the Chinn Family Farm where I saw firsthand what this farm family accomplishes every day for Missouri agriculture. During my visit, the Chinn’s shared with me their frustration with the burdensome regulations that take up far too much of their time. When we think of farming we envision working the soil, tractors in the field, and rows of crops, but what we don’t see are the workers in the office filling out endless government forms. Again, rather than creating a level playing field, government creates mountains of paperwork as a barrier to progress.

In Kansas City I met with business leaders who described how we are losing the battle for businesses and jobs to our neighbor to the west. Repeating the theme that I heard over and over during my travels, they told me how government has not given them the low-tax, low regulation business environment necessary to keep and attract the kinds of family-supporting jobs Missourians need. As a result they have watched business after business cross state line road to relocate to a state that emphasizes a more pro-jobs, pro-growth approach.

Across Missouri, the message is the same – people want a smaller, more accountable government, a lower tax burden, and less regulatory burdens. These are individuals and business owners that want government to reduce and eliminate barriers to growth, who want the freedom to work without coercion and who desire a level playing field in our courthouses.

Sadly, as you heard tonight, our governor is not listening to the people who elected him. Instead he wants to take a page right out of the Washington, D.C. playbook. He wants more of your hard-earned tax dollars so that he can increase spending and grow the size of government. He wants to pick winners and losers through budget games and centralized planning and not helps the truly needy. We want to import jobs and opportunity for all into our state while our governor wants to import D.C.-style taxation, D.C-based budgeting, and D.C.-inspired overspending. We will not allow this to happen on our watch.

The people of Missouri elected record majorities of Republicans to lead, and that is what we will do. Working together with colleagues on both sides of the aisle, we will advance policies designed to provide growth and opportunity for all Missourians; that will guarantee access to a great education for our children; that will help our state generate affordable and abundant energy; and that will allow us to guard and protect the values and beliefs our citizens hold sacred.

We will work hard to pass the first significant tax reform our state has seen in nearly 100 years. A lower tax burden will provide our citizens and businesses with the economic freedom to grow. You, the people of Missouri, know better how to spend your hard-earned dollars than the government. It is a policy that has produced explosive growth in states across the country; placing more money back in the hands of taxpayers and creating growth and opportunity for all. This pro-growth policy is even being pursued by democrat controlled states, one of which is offering ten-years; tax free, to businesses that relocate there! It is time for our governor to understand what Missourians know: reducing tax burdens creates growth and prosperity for all.

Many states surrounding us have also successfully reigned in the rising costs of health care by instituting much-needed medical malpractice reform. This year we have the opportunity to follow their lead by ending our punitive litigation culture, and to place the focus of health care back on research, innovation and access to quality care rather than on legal defense funds. It is time we have a system that welcomes patients and great doctors instead of driving them away.

One of the best policies we can promote is giving people the right to pursue their dreams and their own economic freedom, to be masters of their own destiny. 24 states have empowered their workers and given them the ultimate freedom to make their own choices; to be free to join whatever organizations they want and to spend their-hard earned wages as they see fit. We owe it to Missouri workers to give them those same choices. We should join the states that are increasing their populations, adding union and non-union jobs faster than we have in decades and increasing the spending power of their citizens. For true growth and opportunity Missouri should become the 25th state for worker freedom and choice.

To ensure a knowledgeable workforce, we must have a public education system that provides a world-class education to our most precious treasure, our children, regardless of their zip code or place of birth. We must provide every district in our state the tools to ensure that effective teaching is the number one priority. We must fund our public education system appropriately at all levels and then hold school administrators accountable for the billions of taxpayer dollars that they receive each year. And we must put an end to the governor’s practice of cutting backroom deals that provide higher levels of funding to some areas of our system of education while neglecting others. It is time for true transparency and accountability in the way our system of education is funded.

We must embrace responsible energy policies that will encourage affordable energy prices. Missouri generates more than 80 percent of its base-load energy from coal, which means we must do all we can to safeguard our natural resources. Our manufacturers, our farmers, our business owners and every family continue to rely on Missouri’s abundant, affordable energy. By incorporating an “all of the above” energy strategy, energy independence is possible and not a distant goal.

The legislature will continue the fight for smaller, more efficient government that will empower the people of Missouri. Together with the Senate, we will continue to push back against the over-reaching hands of the federal government and the continued attempts by our executive branch to violate the privacy rights of Missouri citizens. Whether it is protecting our generational right to farm, pushing back against unlawful and egregious actions by our state departments and agencies and holding them accountable, or protecting our devotion to life and the rights guaranteed to us by all the amendments that we cherish in our country’s and state’s constitution, we owe it to all Missourians to protect the values, rights and freedoms that they hold dear.

All of these ideas will move Missouri in a better direction by providing the people of our state with the opportunity to grow and prosper. They will level the playing field, move government out of the way, and provide families, farmers, workers and business owners with the freedom they need to succeed. These are not revolutionary, untested policies. They are tried-and-true methods that the states around us have benefited from for years now. It is time for Missouri to do the same.

We will however need our governor to work with us rather than against us. Just as the people of this state need government to stop erecting barriers to progress, we need our governor to stop standing in our way as we work tear these roadblocks down.

We need a governor who will work with us to provide the substantive tax relief that people and businesses want rather than one who relentlessly fights against lowering your tax burden, and uses your tax dollars to do it.

We need a governor who will engage with us to improve our system of education rather than one who calls for funding increases only to withhold millions of dollars in funding from our schools each and every year. This governor must stop using our children as his political pawns.

We need a governor who will stand in support of our efforts to strengthen your rights rather than one whose administration violated your trust by releasing the private information of more than 163,000 law-abiding Missourians to the federal government.

This is a governor who has rarely engaged in the hard work of governing. It was only during our recent efforts to bring thousands of new jobs to our state that the governor gave us a glimpse of what he can do when he focuses his efforts on policy issues rather than press conferences and political speeches. I would like to work with that governor again; not on policies for the few, but on bold reforms that will benefit every family and every business in our state.

The people of this state deserve a government that works to level the playing field and remove barriers so workers and businesses can do what they do best create growth and opportunity for all. This is the year we must work together to make this goal a reality.

Thank you for sharing a few moments of your time with me tonight to discuss our vision for our state.

May God bless you, and may God continue to bless the Great State of Missouri.

Speaker Tim Jones Responds to State of the State Address – Full Transcript

House Speaker Withdraws Subpoenas For Nixon Staffers, Forms New Committee, Hints Subpoenas May Be Reissued

Speaker Tim Jones withdrew a subpoena for six members of the Nixon Administration issued when they refused to appear before the Bipartisan Investigative Committee on Privacy Protection last month. The subpoenas were withdrawn last week:

That could bring a quiet end to a hubbub that arose when five current Nixon staffers and his former Revenue Department director declined to comply with House subpoenas to appear June 27 before an investigatory panel compromised of legislators, law enforcement officials and other citizens.

Cole County Judge Dan Green later that day issued an order temporarily blocking the subpoenas from being enforced. The judge was to receive written arguments from attorneys representing the executive and legislative branch officials as to whether that order should be made permanent.

Jones explained in a statement why the subpoenas were withdrawn:

…Jones told reporters that the subpoenas for the officials to appear before the House’s committee on privacy protection were no longer necessary because the committee’s initial hearing has already happened. Instead, Jones said he and the committee’s chairman, state Rep. Stanley Cox, were working with the administration to “make sure that these individuals will testify at a future hearing of the investigative committee.

“I urge Governor Nixon to come clean and order these officials, including his top aides, to stop obstructing this investigation,” Jones said. “Missourians deserve the truth about this threat to our privacy.”

Jones formed another committee, comprised only of legislators, to look into the handling of driver’s licenses, chaired by Rep. Stanley Cox, the same Republican who issued the subpoenas. Why?

Cox said Monday one disputed point had been whether a subpoena could be issued for a committee consisting of lawmakers and non-legislators.

Cox says he is convinced the previous subpoenas were valid but that the new committee removes the potential for disputes.

Which makes this tweet to Dana Loesch a little more relevant:

Which minions?

Sources tell me these two:

despicable_me_2_minions-HD

They could be wrong.

House Speaker Withdraws Subpoenas For Nixon Staffers, Forms New Committee, Hints Subpoenas May Be Reissued

Jones Calls For Veto Override on Gun Bill

Missouri Speaker of the House TIm Jones
Missouri Speaker of the House TIm Jones
No surprise here:

Republican House Speaker Tim Jones responded that he was “shocked” that Nixon would veto the bill, saying the Democratic governor is usually a supporter of gun rights.

“He generally has been an ardent supporter of the Second Amendment. I think he made a political, calculated move to veto House Bill 436,” Jones said. “I really don’t know what got to him other than special interest groups on the left.”

Jones brushed aside Nixon’s criticism of the bill: that it harkens back to the Civil War-era concept of nullification.

“The governor’s legal theories on this are just that: legal theories,” Jones said. “They are not the current state of the law of the land. Congress can pass all the laws, but it doesn’t make them de facto constitutional.”

Jones added that he believes the Supreme Court would find the bill to be constitutional.

Opponents of the law say there’s no reason to waste money on a federal court case which is sure to follow enforcement of this law. Attorney General Eric Holder already threatened Kansas with such action, to which they replied, “Bring it on.”

I predict the veto will be over-ruled this September.

Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Let me know in the comments.

Jones Calls For Veto Override on Gun Bill

Missouri Republicans Blast Nixon’s Veto, But Will They Override it?

Following Gov. Nixon’s veto of what would have been Missouri’s first income tax cut in 90 years, Speaker Tim Jones released the following statement:

Speaker Tim Jones.
Speaker Tim Jones.

“Amid news that our state is going to be ending the year with $300 million more than budgeted, it is disappointing that Governor Nixon is standing in the way of cutting taxes and giving some of this money back to taxpayers. Unfortunately, this is yet another example of the Governor’s refusal to lead.”

“With such a large budget surplus, I think the time is right for a tax cut. Unlike Jay Nixon, I know that tax dollars belong to taxpayers, and I think we should focus on giving some of these dollars back. However, Governor Nixon hopes that keeping taxes high will allow him to use the money to expand costly social welfare programs and other Democrat priorities which will only increase the burden on taxpayers in the long run. This bill would have saved hard-working Missouri families $700 million. Instead of giving Missourians a break, Governor Nixon wants every last taxpayer dollar he can possibly squeeze from the people. In effect, the Governor’s veto is a back-door tax increase.”

“Nixon has come up with various red herrings as excuses about why he will not sign the bill, but the truth is simple: he doesn’t think taxpayers deserve a break, and he doesn’t care about demonstrating the leadership necessary to put our economy back on the right track. This bill was an opportunity not only to give relief to so many of Missouri’s working families, but also to give our state the tools to attract family-supporting jobs. Thousands of jobs have been lost in western Missouri as businesses flock to Kansas to take advantage of massive tax cuts. Our state has lost 22,765 jobs since the day Governor Nixon took office, and this bill would have given Missouri the common sense tax policies we need to stop the bleeding and rebuild our economy. Unfortunately, Governor Nixon would rather use the money on his proposed expansion of social welfare programs and other costly liberal policies.”

Can Jones and the Republicans overturn the veto?

Yep. Without a single Democrat voting with them:

An override requires 109 votes in the House and 23 in the Senate. Republicans hold enough seats to accomplish that without any Democratic support. They would have to hold all of the GOP members together in the House and could afford to have only one Republican defect in the Senate.

Republicans say the tax cut is important to keep Missouri attractive to businesses. But Nixon said the loss of tax revenues could jeopardize state services.

And even if they don’t override the veto, don’t expect this to die this year:

“Every time we’ve passed the broad-based tax cut in the Missouri Senate, we’ve had 23 votes, which is enough to override the Governor’s veto,” Kraus said.  “Assuming we don’t get an override, we’ll be back next year with another bill (and we’ll) put it on his desk again.”

Speaker Jones said it was still up in the air if they would attempt to override the veto, though:

“We’ll sit down and go through the entire list of all the bills with all of the bill sponsors – we want to obtain their opinion first,” Jones said.  “After we obtain a position as a caucus on all vetoed bills, we’ll share that sentiment with the Senate and then determine what we can move forward on in September.”

I’ll be in Jefferson City for this, if they choose to give it a go.

Missouri Republicans Blast Nixon’s Veto, But Will They Override it?