This week Governor Jay Nixon delivered the annual State of the State address to a joint session of the General Assembly. This was different than the seven previous State of the State addresses that I have attended during my time in the Missouri House. Unlike previous addresses, this year’s address was a 45 minute speech without enthusiasm, without passion, without substance, and without leadership.
In the midst of 9.6% unemployment and sagging state revenues, Governor Nixon failed to cast a vision for
There was no mention of the current state of the state. It lacked any serious conversation of the challenges we face in crafting the next state budget. It lacked any serious discussion of his priorities in his budget. No mention of serious tax reform, economic incentive reform, or health care reform. The Governor even failed to take a stand on the health care proposals in Congress.
This was a “safe” speech. It did not address anything controversial, nor did Governor Nixon stick his neck out backing any significant issue. He gave his office and the General Assembly all of the elbow room necessary to do anything and claim a victory – after all it is an election year.
While I did expect more from Governor Nixon’s address, he did state that:
We must keep the jobs we have, and create thousands more.
We must build a granite foundation for
’s future growth. Missouri
And we must balance the budget without raising taxes.
This simple statement is a great place to start and deserves bipartisan cooperation to move
Even though the State of the State lacked substance and leadership, it did open the door for Governor, the House, and the Senate to work together this session.
In contrast to Governor Nixon’s silence on the health care proposals in Washington, DC, the Missouri House passed a concurrent resolution this week by a vote of 111 to 46 that sends a message to our congressional delegation, Speaker Pelosi, and the President opposing these measures on the grounds that they are too expensive, too big, to corrupt, and hand out too many special deals. The cost to the state of
According to a Rasmussen Reports poll released recently, 55% of the American people oppose these proposals and only 40% support the federal healthcare takeover and mandate being thrust upon us by President Obama, Senator Majority Leader Reid and Speaker Pelosi. Other polls in
These proposals contain provisions that obligate the states to substantially increase the amount of money that each state will be required to pay for Medicaid with the exception of special backroom deals like Senator Nelson’s Cornhusker Kickback for
The Missouri Department of Social Services estimates that the total cost to Missouri could range from $2.18 billion to $2.45 billion. This is on top of the $100 million plus per year in new funding for natural caseload growth. Our budget, along with
The weeks ahead will pose many challenges for lawmakers. Short-term fiscal policies will fail to promote long-term growth. The Missouri House of Representatives will pursue policies that will allow people keep more of their own money, allow them to make decisions for themselves and their families, and give individuals more liberty in their consumption, savings, and debt retirement.