View from the Capitol by State Rep. Ed Schieffer

 Posted on Thursday, July 10, 2014 at 8:53 am

Rep. Ed Schieffer

Rep. Ed Schieffer

On Sunday, July 6, it was great to see so many families and seniors at the Lincoln County Fair parade.

The theme, “Raised on Country Sunshine” surely was a big hit.

I want to thank all the people who walked in the parade with my political float, and all of you who took the literature and stickers home.

And I hope the kids enjoyed the candy.

My official mascot, Ms. Bonnie Blue, enjoyed meeting the people of Lincoln County.

My son, Sam and his dog, Rocky, were welcomed by the crowd as well.

This week is the Lincoln County Fair and I hope to see you and your family enjoy this traditional family event.

The fair runs from Tuesday, July 8 through Saturday, July 12.

Tuesday is Kids Night.

Kids get into the Fair free and the rides are free as well.

Adults do have to pay an entry fee.

I will be watching the livestock show Tuesday and Wednesday nights, helping the 4H and FFA kids as they sell their livestock on Thursday night.

Friday is the tractor/truck pulling contest.

Saturday, the kids’ events begin at 10 am with an athletic contest, frog and turtle races at 11:30, peddle tractor contest at 12:30, watermelon-eating contest at 2:30 and greased pig scramble at 4.

My eight-year-old grandson is anxiously waiting to have fun with his cousins and friends that night.

If you enjoy country music, you will love the entertainment for Saturday, July 12, starting with Danielle Bradbery at 7 pm, LoCash Cowboys at 8, and the headliner, Kellie Pickler at 9 pm.

I will be in the Democratic booth in the Commercial Building that Saturday evening if anyone would like to visit with me.

My wife Maria and I would like to invite everyone who likes rock music to come to the beer garden Tuesday night to hear our son Sam’s band (Almost Heroes).

Sam is an accomplished drummer as well as graphic artist.

On June 24, Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed $275.7 million in spending authority and imposed a spending freeze on another $846.3 million in order to balance the budget for the 2015 fiscal year, which begins July 1.

Nixon’s line-item budget vetoes included $144.6 million from general revenue.

The bulk of the spending freezes also are to general revenue, accounting for $641.6 million.

While the vetoed funds are eliminated from the budget, barring overrides by the legislature, the spending freezes could be lifted later.

The primary cause for the unbalanced budget, Nixon said, was that the Republican-controlled General Assembly on the last day of the legislative session passed 10 bills providing various special tax breaks that combined would cost the state up to $425 million in lost revenue.

Those tax cuts weren’t accounted for in the FY 2015 budget.

Although Nixon vetoed those bills, he said he had little choice but to freeze a corresponding amount of spending authority in the event lawmakers override his vetoes, as they did last month on legislation reducing the state’s top income tax rate starting in 2017.

If lawmakers don’t override in their September veto session, Nixon said he would release most of the frozen spending authority, which include planned funding increases for local public schools and state colleges and universities.

Nixon also said lawmakers budgeted money from tobacco settlement payments that the state won’t receive this year and revenue from tax amnesty legislation that didn’t pass, together creating another $101.8 million shortfall.

Lawmakers also added spending for more than 100 items that Nixon didn’t request.

Nixon vetoed the bulk of those new spending items.

Another factor not cited by Nixon is sluggish state revenue growth.

Heading into the budget process in January, Nixon based his budget recommendations on 5.2 percent general revenue growth, while the House and Senate budget chairmen, both Republicans, expected 4.2 percent growth.

Both sides, however, turned out to be way off with revenue growth roughly flat heading into the new fiscal year.

As always, I respect your trust and value your advice, comments, and questions.

Please feel free to call my office in Jefferson City at (573)751-9459 or toll free at (855)285-3781.

You may call me locally at (636)299-3270 or (636)462-7295.

If you wish to fax my office, our number is (573)522-0441.

You may email me at ed.schieffer@house.mo.gov.

You may go to the following website to check legislation and other House information:  http://www.house.mo.gov/billcentral.aspx?pid=26.

Now that the House has adjourned, I will be in the district if you would like to visit with me personally.

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