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WATCH LIVE: Gov. Nixon Gives State of the State Address at 7pm

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Republicans hope to find compromise with Gov. Jay Nixon on the issue of education, and hope the topics of both funding and reform are discussed during his State of the State address tonight.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Republicans hope to find compromise with Gov. Jay Nixon on the issue of education, and hope the topics of both funding and reform are discussed during his State of the State address tonight.

Nixon will give his State Of The State address at 7 p.m. to a joint session of the General Assembly. WATCH LIVE

House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka, said he hopes Nixon will focus his attention and offer specificity about issues where they may have commonality, as they discussed in a private lunch last week. Education, Jones said, may be one of those.

"I think the governor has been tentatively moving towards my position on some education reform, maybe not as bold as I've been, but there's been some indications," Jones said. "I was very specific in my speech that we should have the best and brightest teachers in schools and they should not be held back by labor contracts, so I hope to hear some teacher accountability referenced in his speech."

State Sen. Kurt Schaefer, a Columbia Republican who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, said he also hopes to hear specifics from the governor on funding for his proposed Medicaid expansion, and how that will tie in to projected education spending.

"I certainly hope we will hear from the governor on funding for education, both K-12 and higher education," he said. "They continue to go through withholds even though we're above projected revenue for what we appropriated this year."

In addition to a focus on Medicaid expansion and education funding, Nixon may pivot to a discussion of downsizing and reorganizing state government, perhaps as part of a move to create a long-term legacy as he begins his final term as governor, but perhaps also with his political future on his mind.
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