Hearing set for auditor's lawsuit against governor

After rejecting Gov. Jay Nixon’s request to stop Auditor Tom Schweich’s lawsuit challenging the governor’s budget-handling power, Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem on Friday scheduled a Feb. 15 hearing for more arguments in the case.

In a three-page ruling issued Dec. 2, Beetem wrote: “The Auditor is claiming that the Governor is ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul’ by permanently restricting certain appropriations and then spending the resulting savings on disaster relief. ...

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“The Governor denies that his restrictions are ‘permanent’ or ‘irreversible’ (but) are only his way of controlling the rate at which the appropriations” are spent.

And, because there “clearly ... is a dispute” between the two sides, Beetem said the lawsuit had to continue.

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