Gov. Jay Nixon today met with local school and civic leaders for a roundtable discussion at Fulton High School about the negative impact to school funding and other services caused by special breaks and exemptions passed by the General Assembly.
In the final hours of the legislative session, the General Assembly passed 10 bills containing more than a dozen special tax carve-outs and loopholes that would reduce state and local revenues by $776 million annually, including more than $93 million from public school funding and $351 million from local sales revenues. Over the past several months, local officials from more than 60 municipalities and organizations have voiced their opposition to these bills.
"We need to be investing in public education and preparing students to compete in the global economy, not eroding voter-approved resources that our schools rely on to educate our kids," Gov. Nixon said. "That's why I'm confident that legislators will stand with their schools this September and sustain my vetoes of these irresponsible and unnecessary bills."
In 1982, Missouri voters approved Proposition C, a one-cent sales tax designated to provide additional funds for every student, regardless of a district's reliance on the state's school finance formula. Because the special interest tax break bills passed by the General Assembly would impact sales tax collections, they would reduce the revenue generated by Proposition C by an estimated $93.7 million annually -- or more than $104 for each student in every district.
"Resources generated by Proposition C have helped the Fulton School District prepare our students for success in college and careers," said Dr. Jacque Cowherd, Fulton Schools Superintendent. "Legislation that results in weakening Proposition C will take needed resources out of our classrooms and make it harder to provide the high quality educational opportunities our kids deserve."
Some legislators have stated they will attempt to override the Governor's vetoes when they return to the Capitol for the annual veto session on Sept. 10.
"If legislators chip away at a revenue stream meant for education, schools across Missouri will see real cuts," Gov. Nixon said. "The General Assembly may not have intended to undermine Proposition C with these bills, but that would undoubtedly be the result if my vetoes are not sustained."