Analysis: Nixon judges bill as unconstitutional

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Some Missouri lawmakers are accusing Gov. Jay Nixon of acting like a judge by deciding to ignore part of a school funding bill they passed. Nixon last week signed a midyear spending bill, but he declared that a provision on how to distribute money to public schools was unconstitutional.

Nixon directed the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education not to follow the Legislature's wording and to instead distribute money according to its original plans. Nixon's action appears to be unprecedented among recent Missouri governors.

But it follows a centuries' old practice of U.S. presidents, who have cited constitutional grounds for ignoring portions of legislation that they sign. Former President George W. Bush issued numerous such signing statements. President Barack Obama also has done so.

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