Judge considers suit over Nixon budget cuts

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Lawyers have been back in court arguing over the authority of Missouri’s governor to make budget cuts.

Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem heard arguments Wednesday in a lawsuit filed by Republican State Auditor Tom Schweich against Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon.

The lawsuit claims Nixon exceeded his authority when he cut spending for education last year to help cover costs from major flooding and the deadly Joplin tornado.

Schweich says Nixon avoided legislative oversight by withholding money appropriated in the budget instead of vetoing it, which would have allowed the Legislature to attempt to override that decision.

The attorney general’s office defended Nixon’s budget decisions. It says the Missouri Constitution gives the governor authority to control state expenditures.

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