Sunday, December 13, 2009

Week 48: Nixon's Grade


In a legislative session that will likely be defined by budget restraints and deep cuts, the DWI crackdown unveiled last week is just the type of bill that Gov. Jay Nixon could potentially score as a win come May. While some provisions raise constitutional issues with attorneys (and even some Democrats), the tough-on-crime, bipartisan approach is where Nixon is most comfortable. But as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch noted in an editorial, "lawmakers have cracked down on drunk driving repeatedly in years past. In most cases, they failed to provide enough funding to ensure that reforms worked as planned." Still, new Missouri unemployment numbers (up to 9.5%) out Friday were a stark reminder of what will be Nixon's top priority. Republicans say they are willing to work with Nixon on where they agree (tougher DWI laws, autism insurance). But they won't really have clear gameplan on the financial fight ahead until Nixon draws the line in the sand with his budget outline next month.

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