Jobs will be focus of Nixon's State of the State address
This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 17, 2012 - Gov. Jay Nixon delivers his State of the State address tonight at 7 p.m. from the state Capitol in Jefferson City. The speech is expected to focus on jobs and the state's budget. The address can be viewed online via the state's web portal. Locally, St. Louis Public Radio will air the State of the State address at 7 p.m. and continue the broadcast through the Republican response.
Like his previous ones, Nixon's address is likely to highlight what he sees as major business-related successes. They are expected to include:
- Missouri's unemployment rate, which generally has been lower than the national average;
- The state'saddition of 10,900 manufacturing jobs in 2011, according to federal statistics;
- Preservation of Ford's Claycomo automaking plant near Kansas City;
- Phasing out of the state's corporate franchise tax, which will cost the state close to $20 million a year in income.
Nixon will also unveil his next fiscal-year budget and will likely note that additional trims will be required. State budget director Linda Luebbering has projected that the coming budget (FY2013) will need to absorb $500 million in cuts because of less federal aid. Some watchdog groups have predicted that the figure will be closer to $800 million.
State House Majority Floor Leader Tim Jones, R-Eureka, and Senate Appropriations Chairman Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, have been tapped to deliver the GOP's response to Gov. Jay Nixon's State of the State address Tuesday. Their response, though, will be recorded before the governor's speech.