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AIM favors resolution on limiting governors’ withholding powers

Associated Industries of Missouri president Ray McCarty this week testified in favor of a proposed statewide ballot issue that would give voters a choice to prevent governors from withholding funds from public debt and elementary and secondary education.

SJR 45 sponsored by Sen. Ryan Silvey (R-Kansas City) seeks to limit governor’s from budget withholding that in the past has often been used as a political tool.

McCarty told the House General Laws Committee that the current system of allowing the governor broad latitude in withholding appropriated expenditures lends the process to allegations of withholding for political purposes. AIM believes the authority granted to a governor to withhold appropriations is to be used strictly for financial reasons to ensure the Missouri budget is balanced.

“This power should only be used when it is clear revenues are insufficient to support appropriations,” said McCarty.

McCarty also told the committee that AIM supports adding provisions to the resolution that would allow the general assembly to reconsider spending withholding actions by a governor.

The committee did not take action immediately on the resolution. It requires a Do Pass vote by the committee to move the resolution on to the House floor.

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