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Posted on Monday, January 28, 2013 at 9:37 am

Gov. Jay Nixon will deliver the annual State of the State address before a joint session of the Missouri General Assembly on Jan. 28 at 7 p.m. During the address, which will be Nixon’s fifth State of the State, the governor will outline his agenda for the 2013 legislative session and present his budget recommendations for the 2014 fiscal year, which begins July 1.

The Governor gave a 14-minute inaugural speech trying to set a bipartisan tone. He will work with a Republican majority in both the House and Senate. I want to thank all the Lincoln Countians who came to the Inauguration ceremonies Monday, Jan. 14. Many well-wishers stopped by my new office, Room 101A.

Tuesday, Jan. 15, the Class I State Champion Silex Lady Owls Softball team received an honorary proclamation in front of the entire House of Representatives. Members of the team include: Kimmy Duggan, Rachel Lipsey, Michele Norton, Hannah Pratt, Maria Gissenaas, Natalie Fleming, Rachelle Horne, Brittany Howard, Leah Miller, Ashley Gentry, Jesse Hawkins, Nikki Hawkins, Anna Hopkins, Madison Henke, Lindsey Barnhart, Ashley Brown, Melanie Miller, Aly Miller and Haleigh Gatzmeyer, along with student managers Shayla Steiner and Marcie Norton, Coach Robert James and Ass’t Coach Shawn Wilding. Silex R-I School Superintendent Elaine Henderson and Principal Dr. Bruce Werkmeister accompanied the team. Silex R-I High School has been accredited with for the last three years.

The 97th Missouri General Assembly convened on Jan. 9 with the Republican leaders of the Senate and House of Representatives pledging to reduce taxes even as state revenue collections are beginning to rebound after a decade of significant budget cuts that has left higher education spending at roughly the same level as a decade ago, put state funding for local school districts well below the amount called for by state law and left countless other unmet needs throughout the state.

Meanwhile, minority Democrats said the top priority of the 2013 legislative session will be to create an estimated 24,000 new jobs and save $250 million in state general revenue over three years, by taking advantage of a federal law that rewards states for expanding Medicaid eligibility requirements.

Republicans lost two seats in the Senate but picked up four in the House to come out of the November 2012 general elections to outnumber Democrats 24-10 and 110-53, respectively, and give the GOP veto-proof two-thirds majorities in both chambers. Due to post-election resignations by one Democrat and one Republican, however, the House began with an opening day roster of 109-52, dropping Republicans to bare minimum needed to override Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon on a straight party-line vote. The governor must call special elections to fill the vacant seats.

The legislative session will end at 6 p.m. on May 17. The constitutional deadline for the legislature to grant final passage to the state budget for the 2014 fiscal year is May 10.

Net state general revenue collections for the first half of the 2013 increased by 7.9 percent compared to FY 2012, going from $3.49 billion last year to $3.77 billion this year. Net collections for December 2012 increased by 10.7 percent compared to those for December 2011, going from $652.8 million to $722.9 million.

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