Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is urging lawmakers to sustain his line-item vetoes of $144 million of spending items in the state's budget.
Lawmakers will consider whether to override the vetoes when they return to the Capitol next week. But Nixon said Thursday that the state cannot afford the additional spending.
The vetoed items include increases in payment rates for mental health care providers and nursing homes, school safety grants, utility-bill subsidies for low-income residents and numerous other things. Nixon said some items are worthwhile but he criticized others as unnecessary earmarks, such as $500,000 to try to control invasive Asian carp.
If lawmakers override the line-item vetoes, Nixon could still block the money by putting a freeze on the spending. He said that's something he would consider doing.