This week I must report that we've had a bag of mixed results in our attempts to make Missouri government work. First the bad news, then the good. The disappointment came with the Governor Nixon's State of the State Address. This is typically when the executive office hands out a budget proposal for the year, but this year the governor handed out promises as if reality does not exist.
In years past, the governor's office, the House Budget Committee, and the Senate Appropriations Committee agreed to what we call the Consensus Revenue Estimate (CRE). This is a researched number that provides a projected increase or decrease from last year's revenue amount. The House and Senate are projecting a 4.2 percent growth in revenue, but the governor is projecting 5.9 percent. The governor's office refused to work with the General Assembly this year, and used its own estimate rather than a lower number. The executive's number is completely unrealistic especially when we consider that last year's CRE was 2.0 percent and in reality the growth is nearer 1.3 percent. Nixon's total spending is $310 million out of balance. With that inflated number, the governor proceeded to promise everything to everybody, but mostly to education.
The governor wishes to fully fund the Foundation Formula and proposes increased spending for higher education. All very good goals, but promises don't pay the bills. I believe we should all be realistic with our children's future and not use them as political pawns: We have begun hearings in Education Appropriations and our goal is to realistically balance needs to wants.
On a more promising note, yesterday I participated in Missouri Military Awareness Day at the Capitol. Commanding General Leslie Smith from Fort Leonard Wood and Colonel Michael Francis Commander of the 131st Bomb Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base gave testimony to a joint session of the Senate and House veterans' committees. From the civilian side, Michael DuBois of Kit Bond Strategies and Steve Hyjek of Baker Donelson joined the commanders in testifying.
The presentation revolved around the economic impact of military spending in Missouri and how to promote our state as military-friendly. The military accounts for nearly $40 billion (yes, billion!) in economic activity in our state. The military is directly or indirectly responsible for 275,000 jobs in Missouri. These numbers are impressive and drive home the fact that the military is an important piece of our economic picture in Missouri.
We also discussed the mission of the A-10 at WAFB and the concurrent resolutions filed in the House and the Senate by me and Senator David Pearce. Awareness is vital in these times of military budget cuts, and the General Assembly as well as the executive branch are working hard to keep Missouri at the forefront of the minds on Capitol Hill and the Pentagon.
Later in the afternoon, State Treasurer Clint Zwiefel held a reception for our visitors. He also hosted meetings on Tuesday with those of us from military impact areas in the state. We are all working diligently to maintain Missouri's military mission!
It is an honor to serve the 51st District in the Missouri House of Representatives. Each week I will issue a capitol report to keep you informed of activities in Jefferson City and Missouri. Any concerns or issues you might have are of great interest to me. I look forward to your input and thoughts, so please feel free to contact me at any time if you have questions, concerns, or ideas to improve our state government and the quality of life for all Missourians. My telephone number is 573-751-2204 or you may contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for working with me to make Missouri a great place to live.