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Southwest Missouri Lawmakers React to State of the State Address

Governor Jay Nixon laid out his top priority Wednesday night in his state of the state address and presented his budget plan. KSMU’s Missy Shelton has reaction to the governor’s speech from several Southwest Missouri lawmakers.

The governor’s office had kept a tight lid on the content of the State of the State Address and the governor’s budget proposal. Several lawmakers from Southwest Missouri offered their thoughts on what they heard from the governor Wednesday night. Republican Representative Bob Dixon of Springfield.Dixon says, “We heard a lot of bi-partisan themes here and I think that’s admirable. I look forward to working with the governor any way I can and have enjoyed doing so over the last year or so.”Dixon, who is chair of the Republican Caucus, says he’s eager to get more specifics of the governor’s budget proposal. Republican Representative Jim Viebrock, who represents parts of Greene County says he also wants to see more details.Viebrock says, “There was a lot of feel-good talk in that speech that, when the rubber hits the road and we have to actually deal with these numbers, are going to be very difficult to come through with.”Viebrock says one part of the governor’s speech that stood out to him had to do with economic development. Governor Jay Nixon talked about bolstering the state’s bio-tech sector by using incentives to lure new firms to Missouri. Nixon called for using taxes from exiting bio-tech firms to fund those incentives for new companies. Viebrock says he wants to hear more details about this proposal but for now, he doesn’t like the way it sounds.Viebrock says, “If I was a business owner and the government suddenly took my earnings to entice my competition to come in and compete with me, I’d be very upset with that.”The ranking democrat on the House Budget Committee is Representative Sara Lampe of Springfield. She says the governor did a good job of eliminating waste from the budget. Lampe also applauded the governor for calling for campaign contribution limits.Lampe says, “If we do not have campaign limits restored, this is really a false bill. I guess my best quote is, that’s really the elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about. We want to talk about food. The last two weeks, when we’re on the floor all the time and they’re providing food in the back and what does that cost. That isn’t the issue is the campaign finance caps and the fact that they’re not there.”Now that the governor has presented his legislative priorities and his budget plan, lawmakers of both political parties will look more closely at what the governor is proposing and whether it lines up with what they hope to accomplish this session.