JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones issued the following statement in response to the governor’s decision to veto and withhold nearly $800 million in state funding.

“The governor is back to his same tricks, once again, as he engages in his annual political game of holding our system of public education hostage. This is a governor who tells the public he wants to invest in our young people, but then is all too willing to make school funding his first target and show that public education is his lowest priority when he does not get his way. In this case he is withholding public education funding as leverage to stifle the legislature’s efforts to create jobs, reduce taxes and rein in his administration’s constant attempts to over-tax Missourians and Missouri businesses. The people of this state should not stand for a governor who provides no leadership on issues that would grow our economy while also serving as a roadblock to our efforts to increase funding to education.”