Gov. Jay Nixon has warmed up to a proposal that would issue hundreds of millions of dollars worth of bonds to pay for capital improvement projects.
But that support apparently doesn't extend to Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder.
Kinder released a statement a few minutes ago panning the proposal, calling it "nothing more than another government bailout that will put our state in debt for nearly a quarter of a century."
"This bonding initiative is merely a debt plan that will fail to put any Missourians back to work in the near future," Kinder said in a statement. "The risk of failure is too great."
Kinder's statement added that the governor should "utilize the one time funds available in the state's bank account and fund the construction projects that legislators authorized just a few months ago."
"THAT is a plan that will truly make a difference for hardworking Missourians,” Kinder said.
While Kinder dubbed the proposal as "the governor's bonding initiative," it was prominently championed over the legislative session by Rep. Chris Kelly, D-Columbia. Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, handled the measure in the Senate.
Kelly argued that issuing bonds to construct capital improvements made sense, especially with incentives emanating from the federal stimulus plan. The plan would have to be approved by voters in order to be put into effect.
While the proposal passed the House, it was filibustered in the Senate.
Kelly took questions about the plan last week, soon after Nixon announced a string of line-item vetoes and withholdings:
ADDENDUM: I just received an e-mail with the following quote from Schaefer:
"My support of the original bonding measure was to fund bricks and mortar projects that would get Missourians back to work. At the end of this legislative session, that goal was greatly accomplished with the passing of House Bill 22. The money to fund many of the Lewis and Clark projects, with the priority being the Ellis Fischel Cancer Center, is available for the Governor to release today. I still support a bonding proposal that allows the voters of Missouri to decide whether the State should incur debt for capital improvement, and I'm glad the Governor now supports it too. But, I have no intention of supporting a measure that enables the Governor to spend the one-time, job-creating, capital improvement money we gave him on his annual operating budget while at the same time asking tax payers for more."