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Mo. plan to dip into special funds draws opponents

March 9, 2010
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The fund for the Missouri Board for Architects, Professional Engineers, Professional Land Surveyors and Landscape Architects would lose more than $1.6 million if the governor of Missouri has his way. 

By DAVID A. LIEB
The Associated Press March 3, 2010, 5:55PM ET 
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. 

Businessweek.com: Opponents turned out Wednesday against Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon's plan to help balance the budget by dipping into special state funds dedicated to such things as airport improvements and spinal cord injury research.

Nixon wants to transfer a total of $27 million out of 23 special accounts to help plug a hole in the proposed 2011 budget. But a bill authorizing the transfers drew opposition during a Senate committee hearing from some Republican lawmakers and from various groups that benefit from the funds.

Many of the special accounts are financed by professional licensing fees or dedicated revenue sources. Opponents said taking money out of the accounts for use in Missouri's general budget was unfair to those whose paid into the funds.

"To me this is kind of a hidden tax -- robbing Peter to pay Paul," said Bruce Wylie, executive director of the Missouri Society of Professional Engineers. "This just isn't the answer for the desperate times that we're in." ...

To read the rest of the story, click to www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9E7EHQ81.htm.

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