If he wins a second term in November, Gov. Jay Nixon has plans.
His second-term agenda isn't necessarily full of the types of big ideas that get people talking. But they are noteworthy nonetheless.
His agenda includes another run at ethics reform and re-installing limits on campaign donations. The notion that citizens can make unlimited contributions to favored candidates simply doesn't look good, Nixon told The Star's Editorial Board Tuesday.
He talked again about reforming the state's system of tax credits that are chewing up $627 million this year, fully one-twelfth of the state budget. These include historic preservation tax credits that have been a boon for downtowns all over Missouri, including Kansas City.
Nixon wants to reduce the costs of those programs to free up money for other needs, including public schools and state universities.
"We've got to bend that cost curve," he said.
Nixon also outlined, in broad terms, plans for a sweeping reorganization of state government -- a task last completed in the early 1980s in Republican Gov. Kit Bond's second term.
One problem a reorganization would fix is streamlining the number of departments that handle Medicaid dollars, he said.
In other matters, the governor said he was open to more debates with his GOP opponent, businessman Dave Spence. But he stopped short of committing to more, saying his campaign was still working out details.
The two have debated just once -- Sept. 21 in Columbia before the Missouri Press Association where Nixon mostly played rope-a-dope and let Spence take a few shots. Nixon is heavily favored to win a second term.
Nixon was once again non-committal on how he thinks Missouri should handle the expansion of Medicaid included in the Obama national health care reform act.
If Missouri goes along, it'll receive hundreds of millions of dollars from the federal government for a few years to cover those added health care costs for poor Missourians. The rub: The aid from the feds will taper off within a few years, meaning states will have to eventually absorb the high cost of those programs.
One other goal: improving Kansas City schools, though Nixon did not say how that should be achieved.