Nixon Threatens Layoffs
Governor Jay Nixon is threatening to lay off state workers unless Republican lawmakers fully fund the Motor Vehicles Division for a full fiscal year.
The warning comes one day after House and Senate budget negotiators agreed to only fund the state division for eight months, as a means of pressuring state Revenue officials to stop scanning and storing source documents of driver’s license applicants.
Nixon says he’ll treat the 8-month appropriation as a full year’s funding if GOP leaders don’t reverse themselves.
“They leave me no choice,” Nixon said. “I WILL reduce staff and services accordingly, including making the necessary layoffs, effective July one.”
Republican Senator Kurt Schaefer of Columbia says the practice is illegal and that the governor is being irresponsible.
“There’s absolutely no reason for him to lay off anyone, in that they have a full budget for eight months, until we come back (next year), and provided they comply with the law, which they’re currently violating still today, we’ll give them the rest of the year’s budget, but if the Governor wants to use it as an opportunity to cut state employees, he’s the Governor and he can do that,” Schaefer said.
It’s too late to amend any of the budget bills. However, if the Nixon administration agrees to stop scanning applicants’ personal documents before the budget is voted out today, lawmakers could choose to allow the DMV’s budget bills to return to conference where they could be fully funded.