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Wed Jan 30, 2013, 06:18 AM

Nixon uses State of the State to press for Medicaid expansion, more education spending

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon sought to confront Republican resistance to his proposed Medicaid expansion by promising in his State of the State address Monday night that he would support rolling back the expansion if the federal government cuts off the financial spigot to cover most of the costs.

“If Washington drops the ball, we’ll do what’s right for Missouri,” Nixon declared, attracting applause that – while muted – was stronger than the reception for much of his explanation of why the state needs to participate in the Medicaid expansion advocated in federal Affordable Care Act.

But perhaps mindful of the GOP objections, Nixon spent most of his annual State of the State address focusing on more palatable spending proposals, including:

$150 million in additional spending for public education, from preschool through college;
$12 million for more spending on programs to address mental illness treatment and intervention, as well as expansion of domestic violence shelters and related services;
$71 million to fund the state’s pension system for its employees fully and provide a 2 percent pay raise for all of them.


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