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Governor Nixon Focuses on Medicaid and Education in "State of the State Address"

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Medicaid and education were at the top of Governor Nixon's list as he addressed the legislature in his "State of the State Address" Tuesday night.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. --  Education, mental illness and medicaid were some of the things at the top of Governor Jay Nixon's list to focus on this year.

Governor Nixon delivered his State of the State Address Tuesday night.  He addressed education first, saying his budget includes an additional nearly $500 million for it.

Governor Nixon says he wants more technology, smaller class sizes and well-prepared teachers.  He says his budget increases funding for K-12 classrooms and puts additional dollars behind the Access Missouri Scholarship Program so students from low-income families can get the financial aid they need.

Governor Nixon also wants to re-authorize the Missouri Rx Program to prevent more than 200,000 seniors and Missourians with disabilities from paying more for prescriptions.

Governor Nixon says he wants to improve and reform medicaid to bring affordable health coverage to working families.

"We all know there are problems with Obamacare and Washington's implementation of it has been abysmal," he says.  "But rejecting medicaid won't fix any of those things.  It won't keep Missourians from having to pay federal taxes, or exempt our businesses from new requirements under the law.  Instead, by standing still, we are making the things we don't like about Obamacare even worse, forcing Missourians to bear all the costs of this law and reap none of the benefits."

Republicans countered with the need to reform Missouri's tax code.  They say we need to lower taxes on businesses and farmers, and reduce regulation.

"The legislature will continue the fight for smaller, more efficient government that will empower the people of Missouri together with the senate," says Speaker of the House Rep. Tim Jones.  "We will continue to push back against the over-reaching hands of the federal government and the continued attempts by our executive branch to violate the privacy rights of Missouri citizens.  We will, however, need our governor to work with us rather than against us just as the people of the state need the government to stop erecting barriers.  To progress, we need our governor to stop standing in our way as we work to tear these roadblocks down."

KOLR10 spoke to Political Analyst Brian Calfano following the State of the State Address, who talked about the two sides-- and their differing views on medicaid expansion.

"Where you see the republicans and Nixon diverge really are on the issues like medicaid," he says.  "This is where you see Washington come into Jeff City and Jeff City politicians are trying to play on this larger stage, talking about an issue that has federal and state implications, but gets decided mainly at the federal level because that's where it's been decided."

Nixon also focused on the need to improve support for mental health treatment throughout the state.

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