Thursday, October 08, 2009

Nodler: Stimulus Likely Necessary to Fund Career Ladders

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State Senate Appropriations Chair Gary Nodler said that Governor Nixon will likely need to use federal stimulus money next year in order to fund an education program that pays teachers for extracurricular duties.
He also criticized the way state lawmakers have funded the Career Ladders program for the last two decades and took shots at the Democratic House Minority leader for not understanding the appropriation process.
*WATCH CLIPS ABOVE*
Nodler's main points from his Springfield presser:
  • A call to end the retroactive payment process that funds Career Ladders AFTER the fiscal year appropriation process is compete: "This is a broken part of the state appropriations process," Nodler said.
  • Teachers should know by January -- after the consenus general revenue estimate is revealed -- if this year's program will be funded.
  • Governor Nixon should consider tapping federal stimulus dollars to pay for this year's program through a supplemental budget appropriation.
  • His argument that fully funding this year's program is LESS critical than fixing the overall funding mechanism.

BELOW: SO IS NODLER NOW PRO-STIMULUS?

"We could make lemonade out of a lemon"

AND: LAMBASTING LEVOTA

"I would've been happy to explain the budget process to Representative LeVota if he had actually had an appetite to learn something about it."
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GOVERNOR NIXON'S OFFICE STATEMENT:
"Gov. Nixon supports career ladder, which is why he funded it last year, and will put money in his budget for it next year," said Nixon spokesman Jack Cardetti.
LEVOTA FIRES BACK -- TAGS NODLER AS FLIP-FLOPPER:
"House Democrats are pleased Senator Gary Nodler no longer wants to impose pay cuts on Missouri teachers. In fact, Senator Nodler’s reversal is all the more stunning due to his switch from wanting no funding at all for the Career Ladder teacher pay program to wanting to double fund it in the current state budget," said Rep. Paul LeVota in a statement. "Senator Nodler’s attempt at political damage control notwithstanding, House Democrats remain committed to the fiscally responsible policy of funding Career Ladder every year -- but only once a year."
FULL STORY Tonight on Ky3 News @ 10

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