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Gov. Nixon Vetoes HB 1789; Says Legislation is an Unfunded Mandate

Press Release

Location: Jefferson City, MO

Gov. Jay Nixon today vetoed House Bill 1789, saying the legislation imposes an unfunded mandate on some rural school districts in violation of the Hancock Amendment and deviates from an established statewide process in three specific communities.

Existing law already establishes a reasoned process by which a pupil can be reassigned to another school district if the Commissioner of Education determines that the student faces an unreasonable transportation hardship.

This legislation would have deviated from that established process in three communities specifically listed in the bill and eliminated the Commissioner's discretion. This new standard would not have required students in these communities to prove a transportation hardship to be reassigned to another school district. This departure from current law could have increased costs for "resident" school districts, which would be required to pay the cost of tuition for the reassigned students to attend their new "receiving" schools.

"[House Bill No. 1789] would deviate from this statewide approach by establishing a substantially different standard for transportation hardship requests submitted on behalf of pupils from three communities specifically described in the legislation. ...," Gov. Nixon wrote in his veto message. "This bill violates the Hancock Amendment by imposing an unfunded mandate on resident school districts affected by this new standard."

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