Challenge hearing set in suit against Mo. governor

State Auditor Tom Schweich’s lawsuit accusing Gov. Jay Nixon of withholding funds unconstitutionally will get a hearing on Halloween.

“On Halloween, and yes, you may wear costumes,” Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem quipped to the lawyers as they agreed on that date for the hearing, during a 3-minute court appearance Friday morning.

The Oct. 31 hearing, set for 9 a.m., will focus on Nixon’s 19-page motion asking Beetem to find “the Governor has done precisely what the Missouri Constitution by express language authorizes and by implication demands: to ‘control the rate at which any appropriation is expended during the period of the appropriation.’”

Schweich filed his nine-page suit Aug. 26, arguing Nixon’s budget withholdings — announced June 10, the same day the governor signed the budget bills lawmakers passed a month earlier — were unconstitutional for several reasons.

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