Sunday, November 08, 2009

Week 43: Nixon's Grade


Governor Nixon's second legislative session is expected to be focused like a laser on boosting the state's economic climate. And last week, at the Springfield Career Center, he heard directly from the unemployed who are asking the question that's beginning to bedevil leaders everywhere: Where are the jobs? The Nixon administration signaled it will be putting forth a legislative package designed to help existing companies. But there's already questions swirling about whether the state can afford it. General revenue is down around 11 percent compared to last year. And KMOX reported the state's debt for jobless claims could top $3 billion dollars over the next four years. Meanwhile, The Joplin Globe noted that Medicaid rolls have grown by 20,000 over the last year. And federal healthcare legislation could further complicate the state's budget picture, if Medicaid eligibility is expanded. But amid all the red, there was a slice of good news for the Governor. Half of Greene County residents believe the state is heading in the right direction, according to a new poll released by Missouri State University. "This I think, can give the Governor some assurance that his work is at least being respected by the people," said MSU polling director Brian Calfano. "I think the Nixon administration has done a decent job of saying we need to have these cuts so we don't end up in the kind of deficit situation that you see states like, California, New Jersey and Illinois facing," he added.

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