But Republican legislative leaders said an analysis found Nixon had the authority to use almost $15 million in the National Guard’s budget and almost $55 million in the Highway Patrol’s budget to pay for the operations in Ferguson.
Nixon said the relevant section in state law has traditionally been limited to matching grants and for the State Emergency Management Agency. But legislative leaders put out a statement Monday saying they interpreted state law to allow Nixon to use that money for the National Guard and the Highway Patrol, rather than appropriating new money.
In a statement, Nixon’s office said it agreed with the legislative interpretation.
“This interpretation of the law will allow these essential public safety operations to be funded without the need for a special session,” Nixon said. Therefore, his office said, no special session would be necessary.
Nixon declared a state of emergency on Nov. 17, a week before the grand jury’s decision became public. After a night of protests, Nixon ordered an additional 2,200 National Guard troops to Ferguson to help quell the unrest.