Southern Nixon’s platform for veto showdown


Liz Spencer/The Chart

Gov. Jay Nixon addresses criticism over his recent veto of HB 253.

Battling a proposed overturn of his veto on Missouri House Bill 253, Gov. Jay Nixon spoke to a packed room at Missouri Southern on Wednesday.

Nixon said his bill review committee had identified several issues with the proposed legislation including higher taxes on prescription drugs, overall cuts to education, reduced funding to mental health resources and a change in Internet sales tax so that it reflects local sales tax.

When introducing Nixon, Interim Southern President Alan Marble said, “Hb 253 will devastate funding for schools and services in the region and throughout Missouri and that’s why we support the governor’s veto and continue to work with our elected representatives to make sure it’s sustained.”

During the speech, Nixon pushed for citizens to agree with his veto of HB 253. Chris Pieper, senior legal and policy advisor to the governor, said that the bill would cause $800 million in cuts that will have “devastating effects.”

Nixon explained the consequences higher education would face if the bill were to pass.

According to Nixon, these would include a tax increase on college textbooks of up to 10 percent.  Additionally, it would be necessary to raise college tuition due to lack revenue from taxes.

Nixon said, “Well, for this, you can’t be for 253 and for education. This is one of those times you’ve got to make a choice.”

He also pointed out the need to prepare students for international competition for employment rather than local competition.

 “The competition for the future in jobs and investment is not state-to-state… The competition we’re in is with …  folks all around the world, and the best thing we’ve got to compete in that knowledge economy is public education,” he said.

At its most basic level, HB 253 will change the tax code to lessen corporate and income taxes. Education and healthcare taxes will be raised to make up for that cost.

The Missouri legislature will make a decision on the overturn of Nixon’s veto of HB 253 on Thursday of next week. Nixon is “optimistic” about sustaining his veto.