Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Goodman to Nixon: Show Branson The Money

State Senator Jack Goodman says Governor Jay Nixon has not kept his promise to restore tourism funding.
More than a month ago, Governor Nixon visited Branson to announce that $1 million dollars that had been cut from tourism would be restored, so the city could promote itself with ads in other states. But Goodman said that to date, Nixon has only restored about a quarter of that money. And he said a majority of it is going to promote this summer's Major League All-Star Game in St. Louis.
***UPDATE @ 11:03 PM***
But a spokesman for the Governor said the point was always to boost tourism statewide. "The point of restoring the million dollars was to boost tourism statewide, with the Governor's expectation that attracting visitors to Branson and to the All-Star festivities in St. Louis would be the primary focus," said Nixon spokesman Scott Holste.

"The next increment of $250,000 will be released on May 1 with the balance to go out before the end of the fiscal year," Holste explained. "The fiscal year is far from over, so it is not accurate to say the Governor is not doing what he said he would do, which is to restore the million dollars."

Goodman is now pushing new accountability measures so the public can track these funding promises online, in the future.

"Many people in Branson anticipated that the funding Nixon promised to restore would be restored right after his announcement," Goodman said. "By making the daily department budgets—and any cuts made to them—public and searchable on the Missouri Accountability Portal, the people of Branson could easily track when and how much money was restored, rather than waiting in the dark for something that may never come," he added.

Here's the KY3 News story from Nixon's announcement in Branson.

The Missouri Senate advanced a bill that includes an amendment to the Missouri Accountability Portal. Goodman's amendment requires the Governor to submit a daily report documenting all amounts withheld from the state's operating budget for the fiscal year. It also requires the report to be posted on the portal website and be searchable by amounts withheld from each fund, and by the total amount withheld from the operating budget.

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