ST. LOUIS — After Missouri was added to a top-10 list of pro-business states last week, Republicans went silent as the governor’s office praised the state’s success underneath of Gov. Jay Nixon’s administration.
The state made the Pollina’s Corporate Top 10 Pro-Business States for 2013 for the fourth year in a row, coming in at number nine for the current year.
The criticism came after Republicans on social media stayed silent the day of the announcement, and more so after the Republican Governor’s Association commended the states that made the list, leaving off Missouri, which originally was reported by PoliticMo.
House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka, said the news was both exciting for Missouri and that he hypothesized a reason for the award being because of the way Nixon governed during his first term.
“Nixon governed as a Republican governor or a fiscally conservative Democrat during his first term,” Jones said. “He advocated for smaller government, was pro-Second Amendment and was fiscally conservative with the exception of the higher education cuts.”
That trend, Jones said, hasn’t been proven to continue during Nixon’s second term. Jones attributed an example to why these first seven months of term two were not as successful by citing the tax cut bill override. The Speaker has been one of the loudest voices in advocating for an override of the House Bill 253 veto as September’s veto session approaches.
In a statement released by Nixon’s office, it includes information from Pollina’s 2011 rating that highlighted Missouri having the “seventh-lowest state taxes as a percentage of personal income,” a relevant subject considering the currently battle over the state’s tax cut bill.
“Gov. Jay Nixon has shown a no-nonsense approach for job creation and the tax revenue that results from strong economic development,” Pollina Corporate said in its report, according to the governor’s statement.
While, to a degree, Jones attributed the governor’s first term to the state’s success on the rating, he added that the legislative branch deserves some credit as well.
“A lot of the time the executive branch is important, but you have to remember that the legislature has the ‘power of the purse,’ so to speak,” Jones said, listing the Triple A credit rating and balanced budget as examples of successful efforts pushed by the legislative branch — the Triple A credit rating also being claimed by the governor as a triumph.
“Once again, Missouri’s low taxes, predictable economic environment, and focus on strict fiscal discipline have kept us a top-ten state for businesses to start, locate and expand,” Nixon said in his statement. “We will continue to hold the line on taxes while making strategic investments in Missouri’s future to create jobs and keep our state moving forward.”