With the recent rise in the number of school shootings across the nation, Missouri residents and lawmakers are looking at ways to stop it.

Click to hear KMZU’s Mike Stone talk with Missouri State Representative for the 39th District Joe Don McGaugh:

Representative Joe Don McGaugh

Representative McGaugh says even though it’s a hot button issue, it’s hard to estimate the number of lawmakers that would be for the concealed weapons in Missouri classrooms.

McGaugh says lawmakers will revisit the issue in August.

Press Release from Representative McGaugh

Governor Nixon’s Latest Round of Budget Withholds and Vetoes

Last Tuesday Governor Nixon announced his withholdings and vetoes of the State Operating Budget passed by the General Assembly this past year. According the State Budget Office, the total amount vetoed or withheld by the governor is over $1.1 Billion. Of that total, $846,348,271 has been withheld, but may be released by the Governor after the September veto session if things go his way. For things to go his way, the legislature must not override a series of bills vetoed by the governor last week. Those bills recently vetoed are, Senate Bills 693, 584, 612, 860 727, 662, and 829, and House Bills 1865, 1296 and 1455.

These 9 bills which were fully vetted by both Houses of the General Assembly and then signed by Nixon’s veto pen, are a series of tax reprieve bills, passed late in the session in response to Governor Nixon deceitfully raising taxes on businesses and individuals through the Department of Revenue. These bills reverse the governor’s overreaching taxation and provide tax credits to small businesses, keeping hardworking Missourian’s money in their own hands rather than the state’s pockets. In order to get his way, Governor Nixon is withholding public education funding as leverage to stifle the legislature’s efforts to create jobs, reduce taxes and rein in his administration’s constant attempts to over-tax Missourians and Missouri businesses through these 9 bills.

Currently, Governor Nixon is taking to the bully pulpit; touring from town to town in a private jet paid for by the Missouri State Highway Patrol. This was recently seen firsthand when the Governor made a stop here in the 39th District, when Nixon visited Richmond last Wednesday. Nixon is a master at manipulating the numbers to manufacture crisis and attack the most vulnerable as he abuses his power to withhold in an effort to bully his political agenda into fruition. Governor Nixon abandoned the state’s process for determining a revenue estimate in December because the House and Senate would not agree to his higher spending levels.

The governor proposed a budget in his State of the State Address that spent $215 million more than the budget that was passed by the legislature. The governor insisted on overly optimistic revenue projections insisting on a figure of 2.8 percent growth, while the legislature crafted the budget based on a more realistic projection. Revenue numbers released last week showed revenue growth of only 0.2 percent through the first 11 months of the 2014 fiscal year.

Also during the State of the State Address, Governor Nixon said, “On the campaign trail, I’ll bet almost all of us made a promise to invest in our students and our schools. Well, you know what? It’s time to put our budgets where our campaign brochures are. Now it’s time to decide whether we’re merely going to talk about public education, or whether we’re going to fund it.”

Well, during this past session my colleagues and I in the legislature worked diligently to craft a budget that makes a record investment in education. This year the General Assembly passed the largest K-12 budget in state history, increasing funding by as much as $278 million if state revenues reach projections. The Governor has now gone back on his own promises and cut the funding we approved.

Despite the fact that the house budgeted at a more realistic level, the need to cut back on some of the funding is necessary to prevent a budget shortfall due to declining revenue. We have asked the Governor not to once again make our children the victims of his budget cuts. Remember, the Governor also withheld education funding in a year when our state experienced revenue growth in excess of 10 percent. Right now we are at a one percent budget shortfall and the governor is withholding 10 percent.

Members in the General Assembly have started speaking out; urging the Governor to not withhold the parts of the budget that hurt Missouri’s families the most. In a press release from his office, Speaker Pro Tem Denny Hoskins said, “All we are asking is the Governor defend our state’s top priority—the funding of K-12 education.” House Floor Leader John Diehl continued this message to the Governor, “An investment in quality education for our state is an investment in a better future for Missouri,” Diehl added, “The Governor has a history of withholding hundreds of millions from our K-12 education system and it is time for him to break from tradition by standing up for our young people and protecting the funding our schools need to provide a quality education.”

Governor Nixon is simply playing political games in attempt to force the legislature to follow his agenda. Veto Session begins September 10th, and it is anyone’s guess as to what will happen during that time. The General Assembly has already successfully overridden one of Nixon’s vetoes this year on SB 509. The majority party in the House does not have enough votes on their own to override the governor, with the current make-up in the legislature; any and all veto overrides must require bipartisan support.

Finally, let me be clear that in no way did your Missouri Legislature act in a way to negatively affect local resources by passage of tax reprieve legislation. Bold steps have to be taken in Missouri to create more jobs and stimulate our economy. The vetoes and withholds simply provide us an opportunity as legislators to review our actions and make sure that our underlying intentions do not have negative unintended consequences.