UPDATE: Port money has been released, 4/3/15.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon is once again withholding allocated money from the Jefferson County Port, to the tune of $500,000. Nixon did this in 2013, as well, and I theorized that it was to pressure local representatives to vote not to override his veto of a tax cut bill.
This time, there appears to be no specific rhyme or reason for withholding the port money. This is part of the $480 million or so that Nixon is withholding over concerns about a balanced budget. One would think, perhaps, that Nixon would cut his home county a little slack, but I guess not.
Seven JeffCo legislators signed a letter from Rep. Becky Ruth to the governor on this topic:
This week, I drafted a letter to Governor Nixon requesting that he release the funds being withheld for our ports. Seven legislators from Jefferson County signed the letter and I personally hand delivered it to the Governor’s office. As you are aware, Jefferson County has made progress in the development of the Jefferson County Port in Herculaneum, but it is only a beginning and will take more funds to fully complete this project. We hope that the Governor will see that this is a vital economic development project that affects not just Herculaneum, but will affect our entire county and state. The amount of jobs and economic growth that the Jefferson County Port will bring is substantial and impactful. The development of our ports will further position our state to compete on a global level in terms of industry and agriculture.
In addition, all seven members of the Jefferson County Council signed a letter to the governor:
Will these letters help? Will Nixon show some love to the county he once represented in the state Senate? The money may come out eventually, but I doubt he will do us any favors.