In what could be one of his final acts on the state budget, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon pared another $51 million in state spending last week, citing slower-than-expected growth in state revenues.

The governor, who leaves office in about a month, said the move was needed to keep the state’s $27 billion budget balanced at a time when year-to-date tax collections have increased by just 2.6 percent over last year.

The cuts include nearly $43 million for the Medicaid healthcare program and $8.8 million in bonding authority. Nixon said the spending wasn’t needed because of savings achieved by his administration.

At the same time he was limiting spending, Nixon released $4 million for building projects at Missouri State University and transportation costs for schools.

Nixon, a Democrat, said he had not considered leaving the job of balancing the budget to Governor-elect Eric Greitens, a Republican, because voters elected him to work a full term.

“For the next 33 days, they are going to get everything I’ve got,” Nixon said. “I think my job is to turn the state over better than I found it.”

Since the beginning of the fiscal year on July 1, Nixon has cut $201 million from the state’s spending blueprint in response to the lagging revenues and attempts by the GOP-controlled Legislature to provide tax incentives to various businesses.

Although sales and income taxes have been growing at a healthy rate, corporate taxes have fallen off dramatically. He said businesses are using accounting maneuvers to reduce their tax bills and warned the Legislature to be cautious in doling out tax incentives to businesses.

Nixon said he is leaving Greitens with a state that has rebounded from the recession that was in place when he took over in 2009. For example, he said the latest unemployment report shows a record number of Missourians who are employed. He also said Missouri exports are on pace to top the $14 billion record of 2014.

Yet, even with Nixon’s move, Greitens may have to act quickly to cut more after he takes office on Jan. 9.

Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick, R-Shell Knob, the chairman of the House budget committee, said earlier that the new governor may have to carve another $200 million from the spending plan to account for slow revenue growth.

Nixon dismissed Fitzpatrick’s warning.

The governor said he doubts he will take further action on the budget before he leaves office.

“My expectation as we sit here right now is that this is the last time I’m going to be involved in an action of this nature,” Nixon said.

But, he added, “I’m still governor, and I’m working hard.”

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